Navigation Links
Subterfuge, counter-surveillance and assassination: The body's fight with cervical cancer
Date:3/20/2008

The virus responsible for most cases of cervical cancer has a serious weakness which may provide hope for new treatments for the disease.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a virus which causes several types of cancer but is particularly associated with cervical cancer, has developed clever ways of hiding in the body, but researchers at the University of Leeds have found that its ability to trick the bodys first line of defence leaves it vulnerable to attack from a second defence system.

When viruses enter cells, they produce proteins to assist their growth and replication, and the bodys immune system is programmed to recognise and attack these non-native proteins.

Professor Eric Blair of the Universitys Faculty of Biological Sciences and Dr Graham Cook from the Leeds Institute for Molecular Medicine have been specifically looking at one of the proteins produced by HPV, called E7, and have discovered that it suppresses markers on the cell surface, making infected cells much less visible to T cells, one of the bodys key defence systems.

T cells can normally tell when there are molecules in the body that shouldn't be there and activate an immune response, says Professor Blair. But HPV uses the E7 protein to hide from them. We've always known the virus has clever ways of defending itself, but we now know how one of its main defence mechanism works.

However, in a twist that offers hope for the development of potential new therapies for cervical cancer, Professor Blair and Dr Cook have also discovered that this subterfuge may be the viruss downfall.

Cells without surface protein markers are targeted by another of the bodys white blood cell armoury, Natural Killer cells - cellular assassins, which when activated, release specialised enzymes into target cells to kill them.

Despite the bodys valiant efforts to ward off the virus, women are still contracting this awful disease, so there are clearly other mechanisms at work. We need to look at the role of the other components of the virus, to see if they prevent the Natural Killer cells from attacking, says Professor Blair. For example, weve started examining the contribution of the virus protein E6, which we believe works in partnership with E7. The recent introduction of a vaccine against HPV is an important development in the fight against cervical cancer. However, it may take many years for the vaccine to reduce the number of cases of this cancer and other approaches to eliminating tumour cells need to be discovered.

This research was funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, the charitys Chief Executive, Elaine King commented: Human Papillomavirus is extremely complex with many mechanisms affecting how it operates. However, through this research we have discovered how the E7 protein works, which is a huge step forward, and will hopefully help us to develop effective ways to combat Human Papillomavirus in the future.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Kelly
jokelly@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-258-9880
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Fighting Aussie yabbies dont forget a face -- new research by the University of Melbourne
2. Taking the fight against cancer to heart
3. Marsupial lion tops African lion in fight to death
4. Fighting pollution the poplar way: Trees to clean up Indiana site
5. Researchers uncover key trigger for potent cancer-fighting marine product
6. New drug targets may fight tuberculosis and other bacterial infections in novel way
7. Tiny pest-eating insect fights fruit flies
8. Worlds most endangered gorilla fights back
9. New research to help fight widespread potato disease
10. Potential new therapeutic molecular target to fight cancer
11. Gamma interferon could aid fight against fungal infections
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)...  Today, the first day of American Heart Month, ... a first of its kind workplace health solution that ... the first application of Watson ... and Welltok will create a new offering that combines ... delivered on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The effort is ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... -- Glencoe Software, the world-leading supplier of image data management ... the data management solution OMERO Plus for the newly ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160125/325328LOGO ... Phenotypic analysis measures the characteristics and behavior of cells, ... such as health and disease, the presence or absence ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... Minn. , Jan. 20, 2016   MedNet ... supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased ... 2015. MedNet,s significant achievements are the result of the ... iMedNet eClinical , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use ... --> --> Key MedNet growth achievements ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016   BioInformant announces the February ... Research Products, Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies – Market Size, ... The first and ... cell industry, BioInformant has more than a decade of ... market, by stem cell type. This powerful 175 page ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... a new agreement with Bankok,Thailand-based Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) to distribute exosome ... Latin American countries, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Panama, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... MONTREAL , Febr. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BioAmber Inc. ... is pleased to announce that Mitsui & Co. Ltd., ... bio-based succinic acid plant, is investing an additional CDN$25 ... equity, increasing its stake from 30% to 40%.  Mitsui ... of bio-succinic acid produced in Sarnia ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb. 10, 2016  The Maryland House of Delegates ... announced that University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean ... University of Maryland Medical System President and CEO ... Medallion," the highest honor given to the public by ... Dean Reece and Mr. Chrencik for their ...
Breaking Biology Technology: