Navigation Links
Treatment Target for Herpes Pinpointed

Study finds VP16 is molecular key that unlocks the virus from latent state

FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a potential new target in the ongoing quest for a treatment, and possibly a cure, for the herpes virus.

A viral protein known as VP16 is apparently responsible for pushing herpes out of its latent state and back into an active infectious state.

Experts estimate that 70 percent to 90 percent of people worldwide carry the herpes virus, although not all show symptoms. "It's a huge, huge epidemic," said study author Nancy Sawtell, a researcher in the division of infectious diseases at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Her report appears in the March 26 issue of PLoS Pathogens.

Herpes is transmitted by close person-to-person contact, often through the mouth or genitals. This study looks specifically at herpes simplex 1, which can cause cold sores and genital lesions. The virus can also cause stromal keritis, the leading cause of infectious blindness.

After infection at the skin surface, the virus travels to nerve cells, where it becomes dormant. Although the virus is infectious while it is replicating at the surface, it is non-infectious during this latent phase.

"About one-quarter of neurons contain latent virus," Sawtell explained. "Periodically, in response to stress, the virus will reactivate. From animal models, we know that the number of neurons that exit latency are very few, about one or two out of 6,000, and these neurons go back to the surface and replicate, potentially spreading the virus."

Scientists have long been mystified by one aspect of this ubiquitous virus: what causes it to exit the latent stage and become infectious again?

"We have been trying to understand the molecular mechanism which regulates entry into the latent cycle, what turns on the latent program, and how does that exit from latent program occur, in an effort to begin to understand how we can control that," Sawtell said.

VP16 is known to be important for starting the lytic, or reproductive, cycle upon infection of a cell. However, "it has been dogma that VP16 is not involved in reactivation from the dormant stage," Sawtell said.

But in this study, which used a mouse model, production of VP16 was a prerequisite for the virus's reactivation.

"Further," Sawtell explained, "latency in the nervous system is favored because VP16 is not transported efficiently to the nerve cell nucleus."

"There's evidence that it's not transported efficiently. VP16 is likely to be left behind, which promotes the establishment of latency," Sawtell said.

In essence, the herpes virus uses VP16 to balance the lytic and dormant stages of its life cycle.

In a second study, this one appearing recently in the online issue of Nature Immunology, a team of Canadian and U.S. researchers say they've discovered one way that the immune system activates itself to hunt down type 1 herpes.

The authors stated that the findings may one day have implications in the fight against HIV and even cancer, in addition to herpes.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on genital herpes.

SOURCES: Nancy Sawtell, Ph.D., researcher, division of infectious diseases, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; March 23, 2009, news release, University of Montreal, Canada; March 26, 2009, PLoS Pathogens

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Individualized stroke treatment available for patients, though underutilized
2. New OTC Allergy Treatment Available to Food Allergy Sufferers
3. Combating weight gain caused by antipsychotic treatments
4. Autism Study Finds Significant Benefit with Hyperbaric Treatment
5. NeuroVasx Receives CE Mark for cPAX Aneurysm Treatment System
6. Surveyed Experts Indicate that Biogen Idecs Adentri Has Advantages Over Nitroglycerin in the Treatment of Acute Heart Failure
7. Autism Website Relaunches to Offer Resources, Treatments and Hope for Families
8. Exercise Physiologist and Celebrity Trainer Bob Greene Leads National Campaign to Showcase Osteoarthritis Pain Management Techniques and New Treatment Approaches
9. FDA Approves New Indication for Wyeths TYGACIL (tigecycline) for the Treatment of Adult Patients with Community-Acquired Bacterial Pneumonia
10. Record number of patients seek laser treatments to take lightyears off their faces
11. New stem cell therapy may lead to treatment for deafness
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Treatment Target for Herpes Pinpointed
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter ... bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set ... , Research from reveals that behind the tendency to set low ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic ... many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping ... released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of ... verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, ... Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the ... Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was ... Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member ... independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made ... the current process. Many of them do not even offer ... difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE ... at such a high cost that the majority of today,s ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: