Navigation Links
Scientists decode secrets of a very common virus that can cause cancer
Date:12/15/2010

DURHAM, N.C. About 90 percent of people are infected at some time in their lives with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), usually with no ill effects. But individuals with compromised immune systems, such as people with organ transplants or HIV infection, have a greater risk of cancer occurring because of this virus.

Scientists at the Duke Cancer Institute have discovered a pathway that infected cells use to root out EBV infections, a finding that has implications for understanding the human response to cancer-causing viruses in general.

"Using cell culture studies, we have uncovered a major pathway that the infected host cell activates to prevent an oncogenic virus from causing cancer," said senior author Micah Luftig, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. "We proposed that the cell was sensing that the virus is trying to take over. When this oncogenic stress response is activated, it keeps the virus in check, and now we know why."

The Luftig group also learned how the Epstein-Barr virus overcomes the cell's response. "The findings may eventually yield therapies to benefit people who don't have good immune systems and who need protection from a threatening EBV infection," Luftig said.

This work appears in the Dec. 15 online issue of Cell Host and Microbe.

Very early in many people's lives, there is a huge expansion of immune system B cells infected with EBV. But thanks to the oncogenic stress response and a strong immune system, the majority of these infected cells are killed off and the person remains healthy. Luftig and his group, including lead authors Pavel Nikitin and Chris Yan, found two enzymes, called kinases, which were critical in mediating this oncogenic stress response and preventing unchecked B-cell cell growth, called immortalization.

When the scientists blocked the ATM and Chk2 kinases, unchecked growth resulted in 10 times more infected cells. This burgeoning cell growth is related to several types of cancer, including post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, in which a transplant patient gets a form of lymphoma because of B-cell proliferation, and HIV-associated B-cell lymphomas among others.

"This finding can be extended to the general case of any oncogene being activated that might start the process of tumor formation," Luftig said. "About 20 percent of all human cancers are caused by infectious agents, where about 80 percent of these infections are viral." Another example of a viral infection leading to cancer is the human papillomavirus, implicated in cervical cancer.

Epstein-Barr virus infection can mean different courses for different people. In children 4-5 years old, a first infection with the virus may cause a mild illness, but if this primary infection happens during adolescence, the person may suffer a case of mononucleosis with heavy fatigue and other symptoms. In immune-compromised people, the virus can do much worse damage and cause forms of lymphoma.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists Pinpoint Area of Brain That Fears Losing Money
2. Scientists Discover How HIV Is Transmitted Between Men
3. Prevention Is Key Research Goal for Premature Babies, Scientists Say
4. Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway for Organ Tissue Regeneration and Repair
5. Scientists find donut-shaped structure of enzyme involved in energy metabolism
6. Neuroscientists reveal new links that regulate brain electrical activity
7. Two UCSF Scientists to Receive Prestigious Dementia Research Honor
8. Johns Hopkins scientists develop personalized blood tests for cancer using whole genome sequencing
9. Scientists Spot Genetic Fingerprints of Individual Cancers
10. Scientists Unravel Mysteries of Intelligence
11. MSU scientists develop more effective method of predicting lead-poisoning risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an orthodontist ... has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile technology, ... , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can be used ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain ... for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it ... the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, ... journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® ... Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and ... Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) ... Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing ... With this clearance, Roche is the first IVD company ... for sepsis risk assessment and management. PCT ... PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians in assessing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... 52" report to their offering. ... creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The ... that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza ... to cap sales considerably, but development is still in its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future is ... online at www.diabetesscholars.org by the Diabetes Scholars ... in the way of academic and community service excellence. ... program since 2012, and continues to advocate for people ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: