Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientific breakthrough in combating HIV-1 virus

Date:
April 9, 2010
Source:
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal
Summary:
Scientists have made major breakthrough in understanding how the Vpu protein of HIV-1 interferes with the antiviral activity of Tetherin, a novel effector of innate immunity, and contributes to the spread of HIV-1 in humans.

A discovery by Dr. Éric A. Cohen's team at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, could potentially lead to the development of new strategies to combat the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), the causal agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

In their article published in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens, Dr. Cohen's team explains how the Vpu viral protein prevents the expression of Tetherin, a host factor inhibiting HIV-1 release, on the surface of infected cells.

Thus, if researchers manage to develop small molecules that prevent Vpu binding to Tetherin, this would restore one of the natural defence mechanisms that prevent the production, transmission and spread of HIV-1.

The study by Dr. Cohen's team allows a better understanding of the strategy used by HIV-1 to facilitate its transmission and its spread in humans. "Tetherin is a cellular protein that captures viruses forming at the surface of infected cells, thereby preventing viral transmission and spread. This antiviral protein, whose production is triggered by interferon, is an effector of the innate immune response against viral infections. However, viruses, and especially HIV-1, have evolved and developed mechanisms that antagonize this restriction factor. In fact, we have discovered how the Vpu protein neutralizes Tetherin, and as such stimulates HIV-1 production," stated Dr. Éric A. Cohen.

By directly binding Tetherin, Vpu adversely affects the transport of the restriction factor to the cell surface, which is the site of its antiviral activity. Tetherin is therefore stored within the cell, thus preventing it from playing its role as a "barrier" against virus transmission. "Simian immunodeficiency viruses, considered to be precursors of HIV-1, are unable to antagonize human Tetherin. It would appear that the emergence of HIV-1 strains encoding Vpu proteins with the ability to perturb the intracellular transport of human Tetherin, could have contributed to the pandemic spread of certain groups of HIV-1," specified Mathieu Dubé, doctorate candidate at the IRCM's Human Retrovirology Research Unit, and the first author of the article.

"We need to better understand how HIV is transmitted in order to develop new HIV prevention and treatment strategies," said Dr. Marc Ouellette, Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of Infection and Immunity. "This is a very important finding by Dr. Cohen's research team and another example of the superb research being done in Canada in this area."

This project was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canada Research Chair Program and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mathieu Dubé, Bibhuti Bhusan Roy, Pierre Guiot-Guillain, Julie Binette, Johanne Mercier, Antoine Chiasson, Éric A. Cohen. Antagonism of Tetherin Restriction of HIV-1 Release by Vpu Involves Binding and Sequestration of the Restriction Factor in a Perinuclear Compartment. PLoS Pathogens, 6(4): e1000856 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000856

Cite This Page:

Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal. "Scientific breakthrough in combating HIV-1 virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100408171510.htm>.
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal. (2010, April 9). Scientific breakthrough in combating HIV-1 virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100408171510.htm
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal. "Scientific breakthrough in combating HIV-1 virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100408171510.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

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
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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