Navigation Links
Researchers discover how the kissing disease virus hijacks human cells

This news release is available in French.

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.

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 Montral (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.


Contact: William Raillant-Clark
University of Montreal

Related biology news :

1. Researchers say Neanderthals were no strangers to good parenting
2. UNC researchers show how cancer cells may respond to mechanical force
3. Dartmouth researchers identify potential therapeutic target for deadly brain cancer
4. Researchers find arid areas absorb unexpected amounts of atmospheric carbon
5. Researchers receive $1.14 million to study threats to honey bees
6. Swedish researchers show impact of long-term vitamin D insufficiency on fracture risk
7. Guelph researchers solve part of hagfish slime mystery
8. Researchers design trees that make it easier to produce paper
9. Researchers manipulate tiny objects with ultrasound
10. UCSB researchers create first regional Ocean Health Index
11. Researchers identify how zinc regulates a key enzyme involved in cell death
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based ... clinical research, is pleased to announce that it has ... as one of only three finalists for a ... and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... technology innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... -- Daon, a global leader in mobile biometric authentication ... version of its IdentityX Platform , IdentityX v4.0. ... have already installed IdentityX v4.0 and are seeing ... UAF certified server component as an option and ... These customers include some of the largest and most ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. ... of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business opportunities ... The Internet of Healthy Things . Long ... even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners ... delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s office ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Studies reveal the differences in species of bacteria ... for more effective treatment for one of the most commonly ... --> --> Gum disease is one ... relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated with it ... researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition together with ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: OREX ) today ... discussion at the Piper Jaffray 27th Annual Healthcare Conference ... is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, at 8:00 a.m. ... will be available for 14 days after the event.  ... Corporate Communications and Business Development , BrewLife(858) 875-8629 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. , Nov. 24, 2015 ... executives will be speaking at the following conference, and ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, ...      Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference, New York, NY ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... IIROC on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms ... there are no corporate developments that would cause the ... --> --> About Aeterna Zentaris ... . --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty ...
Breaking Biology Technology: