Navigation Links
Iowa State University researcher discovers Ebola's deadly secret
Date:1/19/2010

AMES, Iowa - Research at Iowa State University has led scientists to uncover how the deadly Zaire Ebola virus decoys cells and eventually kills them.

A research team led by Gaya Amarasinghe, an assistant professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, had previously solved the structure of a critical part of an Ebola protein known as VP35, which is involved in host immune suppression.

Amarasinghe and his research team now know how VP35 is able to do it.

When most viruses invade a cell, they start to make RNA in order to replicate.

When the healthy host cell senses the replicating RNA, the host cell starts to activate anti-viral defenses that halt replication and eventually help clear the viral infections.

What Amarasinghe and his group have discovered is that Ebola virus encoded VP35 protein actually masks the replicating viral ribonucleic acid (RNA), so the cell doesn't recognize that there is an invading virus.

One of the reasons Ebola, in particular the strain isolated from Zaire, is so deadly is that the host cells don't have any immune response when the virus enters the cell, said Amarasinghe.

"The question with Ebola has always been 'Why can't host cells mount an immune response against the Ebola virus, like they do against other viruses?'" he said. ]

"The answer is, 'If the cell doesn't know that there's an infection, it cannot build up any response.' So our work really gets at the mechanism Ebola infection and immune evasion."

The collaborative approach taken by Amarasinghe enabled him to team up with virologist Christopher Basler at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, to investigate how the structural findings match up with how these proteins function inside the cell.

"Our initial structure that we solved in 2008 was key to expanding our knowledge, but the structure was just part of the equation, and when we put it together with the functional studies, everything made sense," Amarasinghe said.

The current research describing the protein-RNA complex structure, which was solved by using non-infectious VP35 protein, and associated functional studies is published in the current issue of the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology and is available as an advanced online publication.

These findings build on Amarasinghe's research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America last January.

In his current research, Amarasinghe focused on a specific part of the Zaire Ebola VP35 protein that he thought looked unusual.

As testing results came in, he found that the suspect region of the protein was binding with, or neutralizing, the part of the host cell that triggers the immune system in the cell.

"The interesting thing about the Ebola virus is that it doesn't let cells even get started to defend themselves," he said. "This hides the (viral) RNA from being recognized by the host cell. This is a powerful immune evasion mechanism."


'/>"/>

Contact: Gaya Amarasinghe
amarasin@iastate.edu
515-294-3216
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Obesity and the central nervous system -- the state of the art
2. University of Minnesota study refutes belief that black men have more aggressive prostate cancer
3. Iowa State University conference examines developing bioeconomy
4. University and state agencies to forecast local health effects of climate change
5. K-State Veterinary Lab routinely tests for bluetongue virus
6. New prostate cancer research findings
7. Iowa State professors genome research published in the latest issue of Science
8. Leading researchers to reveal comprehensive dos and donts for prostate cancer
9. K-State chemistry professor to receive Masao Horiba award
10. K-State sociologists use Department of Energy grant
11. NIH grants $33 M in institutional development awards to 3 states
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... Florida , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, ... technology company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on ... and Exchange Commission. ... on Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of ... as on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... management and secure authentication solutions, today announced that ... by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to ... IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has been ... and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ... the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards ... of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief ... to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Arrowhead Publishers is pleased to ... coming to San Diego, CA on September 27-28, 2017. Leaders from the pharmaceutical, ... advances in the treatment of various types of pain. There are also extended ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... ... comprehensive rebrand and a name change to Fluence Analytics. , Fluence ... monitoring of polymer and biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes and R&D applications. The company’s ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... NASHVILLE, Tenn. , April 27, 2017  Pendant ... company developing innovative surface modification and drug delivery technologies, ... & Johnson Innovation, JLABS @ Toronto ... Chief Executive Officer of Pendant Biosciences, noted, "We are ... Toronto community, and are honored to ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... WonderWorks, Myrtle Beach’s science ... the future of deep space exploration and inspire space enthusiasts. The exhibit features ... includes a guest appearance by former Shuttle Astronaut Don Thomas. , The intergalactic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: