Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Epstein Barr: How the 'kissing disease' virus hijacks human cells

Date:
April 10, 2014
Source:
Université de Montréal
Summary:
A component of the Epstein Barr (EBV) virus takes over our cells gene regulating machinery, allowing the virus to replicate itself, researchers have discovered. The EBV virus causes a variety of diseases such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Burkitt’s lymphoma, with the most prevalent disease being infectious mononucleosis commonly known as “kissing disease” because of its mode of transmission between humans. It turns out that the diseases begin with kiss of a molecular sort; a viral protein contacting the molecules that control our genes.

University of Montreal researchers have discovered how a component of the Epstein Barr (EBV) virus takes over our cells gene regulating machinery, allowing the virus to replicate itself. The EBV virus causes a variety of diseases such as Hodgkin's lymphoma and Burkitt's lymphoma, with the most prevalent disease being infectious mononucleosis commonly known as "kissing disease" because of its mode of transmission between humans. It turns out that the diseases begin with kiss of a molecular sort; a viral protein contacting the molecules that control our genes.

Related Articles


Viruses such as EBV use sophisticated strategies to subvert human cells during an infection. The viruses cannot survive outside of human cells and for this reason they have developed strategies to mimic key components of human cell function such as the RNA polymerase. "Unraveling the atomic level details of these interactions using structural biology allows us to understand how the virus tricks the human defense systems. Having this knowledge is the first step towards developing new therapeutic treatments for viral infections," explained Dr. James Omichinski, senior author of this work conducted in collaboration with his colleague Dr. Jacques Archambault at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM).

Using cutting-edge nuclear magnetic resonance techniques at the University of Montreal facility for structural biology in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, the scientists studied how the EBNA2 protein of the EBV virus binds to one of the proteins of the TFIIH complex that helps regulate another protein called RNA polymerase II, a molecule that is responsible for the control of most of our genes. "We were able to unravel the molecular details of the interaction between these proteins," explains Dr. Omichinski.

To unravel the molecular details of this interaction, the lead author Philippe Chabot labeled the EBNA2 protein and TFIIH with stable isotopes and determined the molecular structure of their interaction using NMR spectroscopy. "This type of instrumentation costs several millions dollars, but thanks to generous investments made by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) we are able to conduct such studies with the most modern equipment," explained Dr. Omichinski. A direct benefit of this work is that the "kissing" interaction between EBNA2 proteins and TFIIH could be a target for drug development to better treat kissing disease and cancers caused by EBV viruses in future.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Philippe R. Chabot, Luca Raiola, Mathieu Lussier-Price, Thomas Morse, Genevieve Arseneault, Jacques Archambault, James G. Omichinski. Structural and Functional Characterization of a Complex between the Acidic Transactivation Domain of EBNA2 and the Tfb1/p62 Subunit of TFIIH. PLoS Pathogens, 2014; 10 (3): e1004042 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004042

Cite This Page:

Université de Montréal. "Epstein Barr: How the 'kissing disease' virus hijacks human cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410083341.htm>.
Université de Montréal. (2014, April 10). Epstein Barr: How the 'kissing disease' virus hijacks human cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410083341.htm
Université de Montréal. "Epstein Barr: How the 'kissing disease' virus hijacks human cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410083341.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) — Slowed-down footage of the leaps of praying mantises show the insect&apos;s extraordinary precision, say researchers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Buzz60 (Mar. 5, 2015) — A photographer got the shot of a lifetime, or rather an octopus did, when it grabbed the camera and turned it around to take an amazing picture of the photographer. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

AP (Mar. 5, 2015) — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending its iconic elephant acts. The circus&apos; parent company, Feld Entertainment, told the AP exclusively that the acts will be phased out by 2018 over growing public concern about the animals. (March 5) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) — Once nearly extinct, grey whales now migrate in their thousands to Mexico&apos;s Vizcaino reserve in Baja California, in search of warmer waters to mate and give birth. Tourists flock to the reserve to see the whales, measuring up to 49 feet long. (March 4) Video provided by AP
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

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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