Navigation Links
London researchers discover novel mechanism involved in key immune response
Date:6/13/2012

LONDON, ON A team of researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University have identified a novel way that a common virus, called adenovirus, causes disease. In doing so, they have discovered important information on one of the body's key immune responses. Their findings, published today in Cell Host & Microbe, may have implications for infectious diseases and cancer.

Adenovirus infections most often cause mild illnesses of the respiratory system, resulting in runny noses, coughs and sore throats. However, researchers have been interested in adenoviruses since the 1960s, when it was discovered that they can cause tumors in rodents. These tumors arise because adenovirus infected cells divide uncontrollably and escape the immune response, which are hallmarks of cancer.

One key component of antiviral immunity is interferon. "Interferons are proteins made and released by cells in response to the presence of viruses, bacteria, parasites or cancers," says Dr. Joseph Mymryk, a scientist at Lawson and a tumor virologist at London Health Sciences Centre. "Adenovirus is completely resistant to interferon."

Past studies have identified some of the ways in which adenovirus overcomes the interferon response, but Dr. Mymryk and Greg Fonseca, PhD Candidate and lead author on the study, have identified a new mechanism that relies on changes in epigenetic regulation. Epigenetics is an emerging field of study which involves non-genetic factors that cause an organism's genes to express differently.

The production of interferons is responsible for the majority of symptoms commonly associated with viral infection including fever, chills, muscle aches, and malaise. When a cell is exposed to interferon it increases the production of about 300 cellular genes that defend the cell from infection. The researchers have discovered that interferon-regulated genes require a specific epigenetic modification called monoubiquitination of histone 2B (H2B) to work. "There is still much to learn about this modification, but our studies are the first to show that it is absolutely required for the interferon response," says Fonseca. "This finding was totally unanticipated."

"Each cell has thousands of different genes and they can all be regulated in weird and wonderful ways," says Dr. Mymryk. "The monoubiquitination of H2B specifically results in large increases in the transcription of genes. We found that the interferon response uses this modification for the rapid increases in gene transcription (which leads to gene expression) that are needed to change the cell environment to respond to and stop the viral infection. What the virus does is essentially block the formation of the complex that performs the monubiquitination of H2B, thereby blocking its function."

Although the medical consequences of adenovirus are typically modest, the study's findings have implications in a broad range of diseases because of how influential the interferon response is to how we respond to infectious diseases and cancer.

"Many cancers are non-responsive to interferon," says Fonseca. "If we can more fully understand the mechanism of interferon response, we may be able to better treat these cancers. Overall, many of the tricks adenovirus uses may be similar to those used by other viruses and cancer cells."


'/>"/>

Contact: Julia Capaldi
julia.capaldi@lawsonresearch.com
519-685-8500 x75616
Lawson Health Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Melting glaciers, enough sand to bury London, and ancient ecosystem engineering
2. Planet under Pressure conference, London: Final statement
3. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
4. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
5. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
6. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
7. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
8. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
9. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
10. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
11. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  GCE Solutions, a global clinical ... data and document anonymization solution on October 4, 2017. Shadow is ... field to comply with policy 0070 of the European Medicines Agency ... data. ... GCE Solutions ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... , June 30, 2017 Today, ... developer and supplier of face and eye tracking ... Featured Product provider program. "Artificial ... innovative way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels ... from being able to detect fatigue and prevent ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... TEANECK, N.J. , May 16, 2017  Veratad ... leading provider of online age and identity verification solutions, ... the K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May ... Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center. ... across the globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand ... Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding ... a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... San Antonio, Texas (PRWEB) , ... ... ... a new study published on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, ... demonstrated equivalence with the gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... On Tuesday, October ... on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The featured speaker ... is free and open to the public, but registration is required. , WHAT: ...
Breaking Biology Technology: