Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No More Cold Sores? Scientists Find Cellular Process That Fights Herpes Virus

Date:
March 24, 2009
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a new way for our immune system to combat the elusive virus responsible for cold sores: type 1 herpes simplex. A group of virus hunters has identified a cellular process that seeks out and fights herpes.

This negatively-stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed the presence of numerous herpes simplex virions, members of the Herpesviridae virus family. There are two strains of the herpes simplex virus, HSV-1, which is responsible for cold sores, and HSV-2, which is responsible for genital herpes. At the core of its icosahedral proteinaceous capsid, the HSV contains a double-stranded DNA linear genome.
Credit: CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy; Sylvia Whitfield

Scientists have discovered a new way for our immune system to combat the elusive virus responsible for cold sores: Type 1 herpes simplex (HSV-1). As reported in the advance online edition of Nature Immunology, a group of virus hunters from the Université de Montréal, in collaboration with American colleagues, have identified a cellular process that seeks out and fights herpes.

The five-year study, partially supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, was a joint project with Washington University and Pennsylvania State University.

"Once human cells are infected with Type 1 herpes simplex, the virus comes back because it hides and blocks protection from our immune system," says Luc English, the study's lead author and a doctoral student at the Université de Montréal's Department of Pathology and Cell Biology. "For the first time, our research team has identified a combative cellular mechanism in this game of hide-and-seek."

"We've found that the nuclear membrane of an infected cell can unmask Type 1 herpes simplex and stimulate the immune system to disintegrate the virus," says English.

The team made its discovery while conducting various tests in HSV-1 infected mice cells. They replicated environments when Type 1 herpes simplex thrives, namely periods of low-grade fever between 38.5 to 39 degrees, and found that herpes-fighting mechanisms were unleashed.

The research team now plans to study how activation of the herpes-combating cellular process could be applied to other illnesses. The outcome could hasten the development of therapies to prevent other immune-evading bacteria, parasites and viruses. "Our goal is to further study the molecules implicated in this mechanism to eventually develop therapies against diseases such as HIV or even cancer," says English.

According to Dr. Michel Desjardins, senior author and a professor in the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology at the Université de Montréal, treatment options might be imaginable in a decade.

"Now that we've identified the novel mechanism in cells that activate immune response to Type 1 herpes simplex, scientists are one step closer to creating new treatments that can activate the defence against this and other viruses," says Dr. Desjardins. "While it may not be possible to completely eradicate Type 1 herpes simplex in people who are already infected, at the very least, future therapies may be able to keep the virus in its dormant state."

This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the foundation Research to Prevent Blindness.

About Herpes

There are two types of herpes viruses: Type 1 herpes simplex causes facial cold sores and Type 2 causes genital herpes. Both types of herpes affect an estimated 80 million people in America alone and there is currently no cure for the condition.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Luc English, Magali Chemali, Johanne Duron, Christiane Rondeau, Annie Laplante, Diane Gingras, Diane Alexander, David Leib, Christopher Norbury, Roger Lippé & Michel Desjardins. Autophagy enhances the presentation of endogenous viral antigens on MHC class I molecules during HSV-1 infection. Nature Immunology, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/ni.1720

Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "No More Cold Sores? Scientists Find Cellular Process That Fights Herpes Virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090323112058.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2009, March 24). No More Cold Sores? Scientists Find Cellular Process That Fights Herpes Virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090323112058.htm
University of Montreal. "No More Cold Sores? Scientists Find Cellular Process That Fights Herpes Virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090323112058.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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