Navigation Links
Researchers map pathway of infection for a common, potentially life-threatening respiratory virus
Date:8/15/2011

TorontoResearchers at the University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), St. Paul's Hospital and the University of British Columbia have identified a new treatment target for a virus that causes severe lung infections and an estimated 10% of common colds.

The virus, called human respiratory syncytial virus or RSV, is the most common reason for hospitalization of infants and children under two years of age; currently there is no effective therapy or vaccine for it.

"This discovery provides an understanding of the mechanism through which RSV causes infection and offers a target molecule for development of new cell-based therapies," said the study's principal investigator Prof. Richard Hegele, Chair and Professor in U of T's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology who is also Chief of Paediatric Laboratory Medicine at SickKids.

The research is published in the current edition of the journal Nature Medicine.

The researchers found that RSV interacts with healthy cells by binding with a molecule located on the surface of those cells called nucleolin. By manipulating the function of nucleolin in cell culture, they were able to decrease RSV infection or increase susceptibility to it.

In mice, the researchers showed that disruption of lung nucleolin was associated with significantly reduced RSV infection, confirming that the molecule is a viable therapeutic target.

"While other factors may influence the frequency and severity of RSV infections, our results indicate that the presence of nucleolin on the cell surface is sufficient for RSV to successfully infect cells," said Hegele. "We can now pursue strategies designed to block the interaction of RSV with cell surface nucleolin, the idea being to find approaches that will safely and effectively halt infection by preventing RSV from entering the cell in the first place."

Researchers have been searching for a receptor for RSV for over five decades.

"This is a long-awaited and much-needed discovery that will help researchers develop new therapies for this disease, which has a large global burden, primarily affecting young children and other vulnerable populations," said Dr. David Marchant, a research associate at UBC's James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre at St. Paul's Hospital, and co-lead on the study. "What is especially encouraging is that there is already a lot of ground work done in terms of understanding the biology of nucleolin to treat other ailments like cancer. The discovery of the RSV receptor combined with this knowledge could help deliver a potential therapeutic much faster."

Increasingly, RSV is being recognized as a serious pathogen of the elderly for causing lung infections such as pneumonia. It is also a common cause of middle ear infections and can infect other organ systems, and has been implicated in the onset of asthma and allergy in children. Organ transplant recipients or other individuals whose immune systems are compromised are also at increased risk for serious RSV lung infections.

According to the World Health Organization, the global RSV disease burden is estimated at 64 million cases and 160,000 deaths each year. It is considered the single most important cause of severe respiratory illness in infants and young children.1


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Oldfield
jim.oldfield@utoronto.ca
416-946-8423
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers demonstrate green tea is effective in treating genetic disorder and types of tumors
2. Researchers discover freshwater mussel species thought to be extinct
3. NYU Langone researchers identify a signaling pathway as possible target for cancer treatment
4. Toronto researchers first to discover new genetic clue in the development of rheumatoid arthritis
5. Researchers decode workings of mysterious, but critical TB drug
6. Researchers fight cholera with computer forecasting
7. Vanderbilt researchers, international team, uncover genes linked to multiple sclerosis
8. Narcissism may benefit the young, researchers report; but older adults? Not so much
9. York U researchers zero in on protein that may help treat obesity, diabetes
10. Researchers use human cells to engineer functional anal sphincters in lab
11. Researchers use neutrons to spy on the elusive hydronium ion
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, ... the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... competition will focus on developing health and wellness apps ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon ... The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been ... (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on the ... In addition, CHS previously earned a place in ... electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS Analytics ... EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This recognition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has announced ... network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs will ... to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer education ... professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and are ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 ... for the treatment of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, Inc. ... The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on August ... MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of Orthopedic ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program ... honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and ... 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be ...
Breaking Biology Technology: