Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New insights into Ebola infection pave the way for much-needed therapies

Date:
May 7, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
The Ebola virus is among the deadliest viruses on the planet, killing up to 90 percent of those infected. A new study reveals how the most abundant protein making up the Ebola virus -- viral protein 40 -- allows the virus to leave host cells and spread infection to other cells throughout the human body. The findings could lay the foundation for the development of new drugs and strategies for fighting Ebola infection.

The number and brightness method (Ref) was used to analyze RICS data acquired with a laser scanning confocal microscope. Left column: Fluorescent intensity image of CHO cells transfected with EGFP (control), WT-VP40 tagged EGFP and AW-VP40-EGFP. Middle: Formation of oligomers were assessed by determining the brightness of fluorescently tagged proteins. Brightness vs intensity plots were done using SimFSC software. Selection boxes chosen depict monomer (red), Octamers (green) as well as molecules with sizes > 10mers . Right: Selection map of the respective cells showing sub cellular distribution oligomers. Scale bar = 3.2 µm
Credit: Biophysical Journal, Soni et al. Figure S2

The Ebola virus is among the deadliest viruses on the planet, killing up to 90% of those infected, and there are no approved vaccines or effective therapies. A study published by Cell Press on May 7th in the Biophysical Journal reveals how the most abundant protein making up the Ebola virus -- viral protein 40 (VP40) -- allows the virus to leave host cells and spread infection to other cells throughout the human body. The findings could lay the foundation for the development of new drugs and strategies for fighting Ebola infection.

Related Articles


"Little research is available on how the Ebola virus buds from the plasma membrane of human cells," says senior study author Robert Stahelin of Indiana University School of Medicine. "By shedding light on this process, our study will help us to identify potential drug candidates that could interfere with this step in the viral life cycle."

The Ebola virus is made up of seven proteins, including VP40, which plays a key role in enabling the virus to leave host cells and infect other cells in the human body. Past studies have shown that a part of VP40 called the C-terminal domain penetrates the plasma membrane surrounding host cells. But until now, it was not known exactly how VP40 binds to the plasma membrane to allow the virus to escape host cells.

To address this question, Stahelin and his team made vesicles designed to mimic the plasma membrane of host cells and exposed these vesicles to VP40. Observing their interactions under the microscope, they found that VP40's C-terminal domain penetrates more than halfway into one layer of the vesicles. VP40 also caused the vesicle membranes to bend into the shape of the Ebola virus, paving the way for its escape. When the researchers mutated the C-terminal domain of VP40, the protein was much less effective at binding to and bending membranes and forming virus-like particles that could escape from host cells.

Altogether, the findings reveal how VP40's C-terminal domain allows the Ebola virus to spread infection. "Currently, we are trying to find small molecules that can inhibit VP40 interactions with the plasma membrane," Stahelin says. "This effort could lead to the discovery of potential drug candidates that could form the basis of much-needed therapies for this deadly virus."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Soni et al. The Ebola Virus Matrix Protein Deeply Penetrates the Plasma Membrane: An Important Step in Viral Egress. Biophysical Journal, 2013

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "New insights into Ebola infection pave the way for much-needed therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507134547.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, May 7). New insights into Ebola infection pave the way for much-needed therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507134547.htm
Cell Press. "New insights into Ebola infection pave the way for much-needed therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507134547.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. 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:

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