Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Learning How The Herpes Virus Invades Cells, Through Use Of Bimolecular Complementation

Date:
December 14, 2007
Source:
University of Pennsylvania
Summary:
Researchers have uncovered an important step in how herpes simplex virus, HSV-1, uses cooperating proteins found on its outer coat to gain entry into healthy cells and infect them. Further, the study's authors say, they have demonstrated the effectiveness of monitoring these protein interactions using biomolecular complementation.

University of Pennsylvania researchers have uncovered an important step in how herpes simplex virus, HSV-1, uses cooperating proteins found on its outer coat to gain entry into healthy cells and infect them. Further, the study's authors say, they have demonstrated the effectiveness of monitoring these protein interactions using biomolecular complementation.

The findings provide a better understanding of the mechanism that viruses use to conquer healthy cells.

Beginning with the knowledge that HSV-1 glycoprotein gD binds to cell receptors in a healthy cell to begin virus-cell fusion, researchers questioned how other proteins combined or cooperated on the attack. They "tagged" additional HSV-1 proteins with a fluorescent marker to witness the complex battle, thus demonstrating that gD somehow signals to three other herpes proteins -- gB, gH and gL -- to swing into action, continuing fusion and ultimately releasing the viral genome into the cell. Once in the cell, the viral genome takes over and directs the cell to make more virus.

"Watching these proteins interact tells us a lot about HSV and other herpes viruses and how they attack the body," Roselyn Eisenberg, professor of microbiology in Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine, said. "The first thing this virus does when it finds a cell is fool the cell into thinking the virus is a welcome guest when it is actually a dangerous intruder. But getting in is not easy. It takes four viral proteins to do it, and they must cooperate with each other in ways that we are only beginning to understand."

Monitoring the interactions required a novel technique. Researchers assumed in their hypothesis that these proteins had to physically interact with each other but could not demonstrate the split-second interaction. Penn researchers hypothesized that the encounter might be too brief and decided to look for ways to "freeze" it long enough to take a snapshot.

Knowing that virus-cell fusion starts when gD binds to a cell receptor, these researchers monitored the remaining protein interactions using bimolecular complementation, a newly developed process that employs, in this case, a protein called Venus. Venus, like the planet, shines brightly against a dark background. Researchers split the yellow Venus protein in two, creating tags which were stitched to either gB or gH, the proteins they believed played a role in fusion. When Venus is split in half, it no longer glows yellow. But when half-Venus-gB and half-Venus-gH combine, even very briefly as they do, the two halves of Venus interact and shine again.

The team used microscopy to look for the viral protein-protein interactions during fusion and thus found that fusion requires proteins gB, gH and gL, called the "core fusion machinery" of all herpes viruses.

"This is a complex mechanism we're looking at," Gary Cohen, professor of microbiology in Penn's School of Dental Medicine, said. "We still have a long way to go but this is a major step forward for us and the field, and now we have a new toy to play with to help us with a whole new set of questions. That is the fun of science: there is always another question. "

This research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research was performed by Cohen and Eisenberg, along with Doina Atanasiu and Tina M. Cairns of the Department of Microbiology in the School of Dental Medicine and J. Charles Whitbeck and Brigid Reilly of the Department of Pathobiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine. The study was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Merck Summer Research Fellowship Program at Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania. "Learning How The Herpes Virus Invades Cells, Through Use Of Bimolecular Complementation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213120928.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania. (2007, December 14). Learning How The Herpes Virus Invades Cells, Through Use Of Bimolecular Complementation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213120928.htm
University of Pennsylvania. "Learning How The Herpes Virus Invades Cells, Through Use Of Bimolecular Complementation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213120928.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins