Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel mechanism involved in key immune response

Date:
June 13, 2012
Source:
Lawson Health Research Institute
Summary:
Scientists have identified a novel way that a common virus, called adenovirus, causes disease. In doing so, they have discovered important information on one of the body's key immune responses. Their findings may have implications for infectious diseases and cancer.

A team of researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University have identified a novel way that a common virus, called adenovirus, causes disease. In doing so, they have discovered important information on one of the body's key immune responses. Their findings, published June 13 in Cell Host & Microbe, may have implications for infectious diseases and cancer.

Related Articles


Adenovirus infections most often cause mild illnesses of the respiratory system, resulting in runny noses, coughs and sore throats. However, researchers have been interested in adenoviruses since the 1960s, when it was discovered that they can cause tumors in rodents. These tumors arise because adenovirus infected cells divide uncontrollably and escape the immune response, which are hallmarks of cancer.

One key component of antiviral immunity is interferon. "Interferons are proteins made and released by cells in response to the presence of viruses, bacteria, parasites or cancers," says Dr. Joseph Mymryk, a scientist at Lawson and a tumor virologist at London Health Sciences Centre. "Adenovirus is completely resistant to interferon."

Past studies have identified some of the ways in which adenovirus overcomes the interferon response, but Dr. Mymryk and Greg Fonseca, PhD Candidate and lead author on the study, have identified a new mechanism that relies on changes in epigenetic regulation. Epigenetics is an emerging field of study which involves non-genetic factors that cause an organism's genes to express differently.

The production of interferons is responsible for the majority of symptoms commonly associated with viral infection including fever, chills, muscle aches, and malaise. When a cell is exposed to interferon it increases the production of about 300 cellular genes that defend the cell from infection. The researchers have discovered that interferon-regulated genes require a specific epigenetic modification called monoubiquitination of histone 2B (H2B) to work. "There is still much to learn about this modification, but our studies are the first to show that it is absolutely required for the interferon response," says Fonseca. "This finding was totally unanticipated."

"Each cell has thousands of different genes and they can all be regulated in weird and wonderful ways," says Dr. Mymryk. "The monoubiquitination of H2B specifically results in large increases in the transcription of genes. We found that the interferon response uses this modification for the rapid increases in gene transcription (which leads to gene expression) that are needed to change the cell environment to respond to and stop the viral infection. What the

The research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care, London.

virus does is essentially block the formation of the complex that performs the monubiquitination of H2B, thereby blocking its function."

Although the medical consequences of adenovirus are typically modest, the study's findings have implications in a broad range of diseases because of how influential the interferon response is to how we respond to infectious diseases and cancer.

"Many cancers are non-responsive to interferon," says Fonseca. "If we can more fully understand the mechanism of interferon response, we may be able to better treat these cancers. Overall, many of the tricks adenovirus uses may be similar to those used by other viruses and cancer cells."

Dr. Mymryk is also Professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, and Oncology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lawson Health Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G.J. Fonseca, G. Thillainadesan, A.F. Yousef, J.N. Ablack, K.L. Mossman, J. Torchia, J.S. Mymryk. Adenovirus Evasion of Interferon-Mediated Innate Immunity by Direct Antagonism of a Cellular Histone Posttranslational Modification. Cell Host & Microbe, 2012; 11 (6): 597 DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2012.05.005

Cite This Page:

Lawson Health Research Institute. "Novel mechanism involved in key immune response." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613145404.htm>.
Lawson Health Research Institute. (2012, June 13). Novel mechanism involved in key immune response. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613145404.htm
Lawson Health Research Institute. "Novel mechanism involved in key immune response." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613145404.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
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