Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus Reveals Its Access Code

Date:
October 22, 2008
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
Biologists have identified an amino acid switch that flaviviruses flip to gain access to cells. Flaviviruses such as tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), yellow fever, and dengue are dangerous human pathogens.

Fritz et al. have identified an amino acid switch that flaviviruses flip to gain access to cells.

Flaviviruses such as tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), yellow fever, and dengue are dangerous human pathogens. These membrane-encircled viruses enter cells by being gobbled up into endosomes and fusing their membrane with that of the endosome.

Fusion is triggered by the endosome's acidic environment. Low pH prompts the aptly named fusion protein, on the virus's outer membrane, to change shape and grab hold of the endosome membrane, bringing the two membranes together. In their search for possible pH sensors, researchers have focused on five highly conserved histidine residues in the flavivirus fusion protein. The chemical properties of histidines make them prime candidates—they switch from uncharged to having a double positive charge upon acidification of their environment, such as that in endosomes.

Fritz et al. replaced each of the five histidines of the TBEV fusion protein with alternative residues and observed the virus's fusion ability. Given the conservation of the five histidines, the team was surprised, that mutation of one of the histidines, His323, was sufficient to completely abolish fusion. Individual mutation of three of the others had no effect on fusion whatsoever, and mutation of the fourth led to an untestable ill-formed fusion protein.

The team went on to show that mutation of the crucial His323 interfered with the pH-induced shape change of the fusion protein.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Fritz et al. Identification of specific histidines as pH sensors in flavivirus membrane fusion. The Journal of Cell Biology, 2008; 183 (2): 353 DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200806081

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus Reveals Its Access Code." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020093356.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2008, October 22). Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus Reveals Its Access Code. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020093356.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus Reveals Its Access Code." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020093356.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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