Navigation Links
Key mechanism behind herpes revealed

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have for the first time managed to measure the internal pressure that enables the herpes virus to infect cells in the human body. The discovery paves the way for the development of new medicines to combat viral infections. The results indicate good chances to stop herpes infections in the future.

A virus comprises a thin shell of protein, within which are its genes. A long-standing theory has been that a virus has high internal pressure because it is so tightly packed with genetic material. The pressure means that they can infect a cell by ejecting the genes at high force and speed. The cell is then duped into becoming a small 'virus factory' that produces new viruses, multiplying the number. However, no one has previously succeeded in measuring the internal pressure of a virus that can infect humans.

Biochemist Alex Evilevitch from Lund University and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA, has measured the pressure inside the herpes virus HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus 1) together with a research team in the US. The study has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, JACS.

"The pressure explains the way all eight known herpes viruses that infect humans inject their genes into our cells", said Alex Evilevitch.

This includes both of the two most common forms of herpes, which cause cold sores and genital herpes, as well as Varicella zostervirus, which causes chickenpox and shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, which leads to glandular fever, and viruses linked to various forms of cancer.

In previous studies, Alex Evilevitch has also demonstrated that bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, have a high internal pressure. Bacteriophages and herpes viruses separated in evolution billions of years ago, but have retained the same pressure-driven method of ejecting their genes. Evilevitch therefore believes this must be a key mechanism for viral infection.

The discovery could lead to new drugs. The medication that exists to combat viral infections is very specialised and if a virus mutates, which often happens, the medicine can become less effective. However, if a treatment could be developed that reduces the pressure within the virus shell, it would probably be possible to fight many different types of viral infection with the same drug. In addition, the medication would work even if the virus mutated, because mutations do not affect the internal pressure of a virus.

"The results of the present study are the first step towards the goal of developing a drug of this type, and we already have positive preliminary data that shows that the herpes infection can be stopped. It feels great to know that this research will help to fight infections that are as yet incurable", said Alex Evilevitch.


Contact: Alex Evilevitch
Lund University

Related medicine news :

1. Joslin scientists identify important mechanism that affects the aging process
2. Researchers gain better understanding of mechanism behind tau spreading in the brain
3. Aggregating instead of stabilizing: New insights into the mechanisms of heart disease
4. Study supports urate protection against Parkinsons disease, hints at novel mechanism
5. Probing the mechanism of ADAM28-mediated cancer metastasis
6. Fruit flies reveal mechanism behind ALS-like disease
7. Scientists discover mechanism that promotes lung cancer growth and survival
8. Abnormal gene product associated with prostate cancer generated by unusual mechanism
9. New mechanism of bacterial pathogenesis discovered
10. Scientists identify new cancer stem cell mechanism
11. Zebrafish reveal promising mechanism for healing spinal cord injury
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... preparing the perfect dish and pleasing the palates of attendees is of the ... a dish to a seasonal get-together, give these recipes a try this holiday ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... European Union (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, ... (UNON) for the opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would ... OH , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE ... Cleveland, OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased ... moderate facial wrinkling. While many patients are aware of the benefits of Botox® in ... delivers to those suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as a result of Jaw ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding ... an inventor, from Bronx, N.Y. “I thought there had to be a convenient and ... the PROTECTOR. , The PROTECTOR enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ... Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> ) has announced the ... and Growth Strategies in the French Drugs ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda SyMRI för ... för patienter med multipel skleros (MS) ... med SyntheticMR AB för att kunna använda ... sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man generera flera ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... India , November 26, 2015 ... --> adds ... Report" and "Investigation Report on China ... and 2021 forecasts data and information ... . ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: