Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

HIV-1's 'Hijacking Mechanism' Pinpointed

Date:
June 15, 2009
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Researchers may have found a chink in the armor of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the microorganism which causes AIDS.

Researchers at McGill University and the affiliated Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital – along with colleagues at the University of Manitoba and the University of British Columbia – may have found a chink in the armour of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the microorganism which causes AIDS. They have pinpointed the key cellular machinery co-opted by HIV-1 to hijack the human cell for its own benefit. 

Once a cell is infected with HIV-1, activation of the virus's gene generates a large HIV-1 RNA molecule known as the RNA genome. This is then transported from the cell nucleus to the inner surface of the plasma membrane. The RNA genome can produce both structural proteins and enzymes, but once it arrives at the plasma membrane it can also assemble into new copies of the virus that actually bud out of the cell. Dr. Andrew J. Mouland and his colleagues have discovered how the RNA genome gets transported – or trafficked – from the nucleus to the plasma membrane.

"There is a highway inside the human cell," explained Dr. Mouland, Associate Professor at McGill's Departments of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology and head of the HIV-1 RNA Trafficking Laboratory at the Lady Davis Institute. "When you drive your car to Toronto you're 'trafficking' the items in your trunk. Similarly, what we have shown is that HIV-1 commandeers the host cell's endosomal machinery to traffic its structural proteins and RNA genome. Imagine that it's essentially jumping on board for the ride and directing it to where it needs to go. This trafficking can occur very fast in cells; so this is how these key components of HIV-1 so efficiently get to the plasma membrane, where the virus can begin to assemble.

"The RNA genome is critical, because if it doesn't get trafficked to the right place at the plasma membrane, the virus will not be infectious," he explained.

This discovery is extremely exciting, Dr. Mouland said, because now that researchers understand a little more about how the cell's transport machinery is hijacked by HIV-1, they have hopes that they can now begin to devise strategies to block the process.

Their study was published in May in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. This work is substantiated by a co-submitted manuscript from the group of Édouard Bertrand at the Institut de génétique moléculaire de Montpellier, Centre national de recherche scientifique. The Bertrand group will publish its work in the same journal in June, 2009.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

McGill University. "HIV-1's 'Hijacking Mechanism' Pinpointed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610154501.htm>.
McGill University. (2009, June 15). HIV-1's 'Hijacking Mechanism' Pinpointed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610154501.htm
McGill University. "HIV-1's 'Hijacking Mechanism' Pinpointed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610154501.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. 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