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 January 25, 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 January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) — Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. 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

 

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