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:11/17/2015)... PARIS , November 17, 2015 ... 17 au 19 novembre  2015.  --> Paris ... 2015.  --> DERMALOG, le leader de l,innovation ... à la fois passeports et empreintes sur la même ... pour les passeports et l,autre pour les empreintes digitales. ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for use ... chemical discovery information management tools. The partnership will ... share both biological and chemical research information internally ... tools will be used for managing the Institute,s ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... 2015 ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition ... Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... Growing popularity of companion diagnostics is ... cancer biomarkers market with pharmaceutical companies and ... companion diagnostic tests. . ... Complete report on global cancer biomarkers ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2 nouvelles études permettent d ... différences entre les souches bactériennes retrouvées dans la plaque ... humains . Ces recherches  ouvrent une nouvelle ... charge efficace de l,un des problèmes de santé ... .    --> 2 nouvelles études permettent d ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of a ... leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The ... the recipient of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the ... through his or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., ...
Breaking Biology Technology: