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 m
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 April 1, 2015 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 April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
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