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:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Local engineering firm, Timmons ... Medical Center located in Woodbridge, VA. The project includes a brand new ... site. , The new 2 story building houses the Central Sterile department, Sterile ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... Mental health watchdog ... the Church of Scientology and renowned professor of psychiatry Thomas Szasz, is continuing its ... “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” exhibit in Atlanta, Georgia. The opening of the exhibit ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) has officially broken ground on ... Over 3,000 people looked on as the shovels hit the dirt at the community ... , During the program, Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president, LLUH, recapped the history ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... perfect data logger for each job, ensuring the best suited solution to meet ... MadgeTech data loggers at their lab in Istanbul. , Metroloji Okulu specializes in ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Bethpage, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... of this growing trend, more gluten-free products are available and easily accessible. Whether someone ... they want to cater to a certain diet, King Kullen Grocery stocks their shelves ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016 Een app die artsen ... collectief patiënten kunnen behandelen, hun kennis kunnen delen en ... de nieuwe en revolutionaire MDLinking App, ontwikkeld door een ... dr. Hans Flu en oncologisch chirurg dr. Gijs ... is, wordt op dinsdag 24 mei officieel gepresenteerd op ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced ... Internship programs. The hands-on learning experience is a 12-week ... paid Fellowship and Internship programs ... Fellows and interns are provided optional housing free of ... at the Riverfront Residence Hall to foster communication ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Clarifying Vision - ... Monitoring, and Vision Care What can be ... going to grow at the fastest rates? This ... assessing data, trends, opportunities and prospects. ... Discover the most lucrative areas in the industry and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: