Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tricky Virus Exploits Host Cell Mechanism To Convert Healthy Cell Into Cancer Cell

Date:
January 18, 2008
Source:
GSF - National Research Center for Environment and Health
Summary:
Viruses use many tricks to gain control over their host cells and to reprogram them to their own advantage. Scientists were able to show how the Epstein-Barr virus exploits a signal protein of its host cell, which normally mediates programmed cell death, in order to convert the cell into a cancer cell.

Viruses use many tricks to gain control over their host cells and to reprogram them to their own advantage. Dr. Arnd Kieser and his colleagues of the Department of Gene Vectors of the Helmholtz Zentrum Mόnchen, Germany, were able to show how the Epstein-Barr virus exploits a signal protein of its host cell, which normally mediates programmed cell death (apoptosis), in order to convert the cell into a cancer cell.

Related Articles


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a human-pathogenic virus which belongs to the herpes virus family. Almost every adult carries EBV inside. With an infestation rate of more than 90 %, EBV is one of the most successful human viruses. Its viral genome consists of double-stranded DNA, and it is one of the few known viruses which cause cancer in humans under certain circumstances. EBV-associated cancers include lymphomas (cancer of the lymph nodes), nasopharyngeal carcinoma and gastric cancer.

A protein encoded by the virus, the latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), is required for the uncontrolled proliferation of EBV-infected cells and, thus, the formation of cancer. Arnd Kieser and his team are studying the molecular mode of action of this EBV protein. LMP1 is a membrane-bound oncoprotein that binds certain signal molecules of its host cell and thereby critically contributes to the oncogenic transformation of the cells. One of these signal proteins is the factor TRADD. TRADD stands for TNF-receptor 1-associated death domain protein.

The scientists used TRADD knockout cell lines which they had established by removing the TRADD gene from the genome of human B-cells in order to demonstrate that TRADD is an essential factor for LMP1 function. They found that in the absence of TRADD, LMP1 can no longer activate a cellular communication (also called: signal transduction) pathway which is crucial for cell transformation. However, TRADD's normal function within the cell includes the induction of programmed cell death which would be fatal for the virus. In fact, the scientists made the surprising observation that TRADD can no longer induce apoptosis if it is activated by the viral protein LMP1.

How does Epstein-Barr virus manage to switch off the apoptosis function of TRADD? Kieser and his colleagues discovered that the LMP1 protein possesses a unique TRADD binding domain which dictates an unusual TRADD interaction and prevents TRADD from transmitting cell death signals. Thus, LMP1 masks the apoptotic activity of TRADD. This viral TRADD-binding domain consists of the 16 carboxyterminal amino acids of the LMP1 protein and can be transplanted to cellular receptor proteins where it shows the same effects.

Hence, Epstein-Barr virus has found a unique molecular way to extinguish an undesired property of a cellular protein in order to adapt this protein to its own needs. This finding might also be the basis for a new therapeutic approach. Arnd Kieser explains: “Since the specific structure of the LMP1-TRADD interaction is most likely restricted to EBV-infected cells, it might serve as a target structure to develop specific inhibitors which interrupt the transforming signal cascade of the LMP1 oncogene.”

Journal reference: Schneider, F., Neugebauer, J., Griese, J., Liefold, N., Kutz, H., Briseρo, C., Kieser, A. (2008) The Viral Oncoprotein LMP1 Exploits TRADD for Signalling by Masking Its Apoptotic Activity. PLoS Biology 6(1): e8. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060008


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by GSF - National Research Center for Environment and Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

GSF - National Research Center for Environment and Health. "Tricky Virus Exploits Host Cell Mechanism To Convert Healthy Cell Into Cancer Cell." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117103734.htm>.
GSF - National Research Center for Environment and Health. (2008, January 18). Tricky Virus Exploits Host Cell Mechanism To Convert Healthy Cell Into Cancer Cell. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117103734.htm
GSF - National Research Center for Environment and Health. "Tricky Virus Exploits Host Cell Mechanism To Convert Healthy Cell Into Cancer Cell." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117103734.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) — A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
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