Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Immunology
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Viral Infections May Have Met Their Match

Published: Friday, November 29, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, November 29, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers ID protein that sets off body's response to fight infection.

A Massachusetts General Hospital-led research team has identified an immune cell protein that is critical to setting off the body’s initial response against viral infection.

The report describes finding that a protein called GEF-H1 is essential to the ability of macrophages — major contributors to the innate immune system — to respond to viral infections such as influenza. The report will be published in an upcoming issue of Nature Immunology and is receiving early online release.

“The detection of viral genetic material inside an infected cell is critical to initiating the responses that signal the immune system to fight an infection and prevent its spread throughout the body,” said Hans-Christian Reinecker of the Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the MGH Gastrointestinal Unit, senior author of the report. “Our findings indicate that GEF-H1 may control immune responses against a wide variety of RNA and DNA viruses that pose a threat to human health.”

The body’s first line of defense against infection, the innate immune system rapidly responds to invading pathogens by mobilizing white blood cells, chemical factors called cytokines, and antimicrobial peptides. When viruses invade cells, they often move toward the nucleus to replicate and sometimes to integrate their own genetic material into that of the host cell, traveling along structures called microtubules that cells use for internal protein transport. But how microtubule-based movement of viral components contributes to induction of the immune response has been unknown.

GEF-H1 is known to bind to microtubules, and previous research indicated that it has a role in immune recognition of bacteria. A series of experiments by Reinecker’s team found that GEF-H1 is expressed in macrophages — key components of the innate immune system — and activated in response to viral RNA, and that it controls the expression of beta interferon and other cytokines.  Mice in which expression of GEF-H1 was knocked out were unable to mount an effective immune response to influenza A and to encephalomyocarditis, a virus that causes several types of infection in animals.

“The sensing of intracellular viral nucleic acids for induction of interferons is so important that many viruses, including influenza A, have evolved specific strategies to interfere with activation of the interferon defense system,” said Reinecker, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “We are hopeful that this discovery will allow the development of new strategies to curtail viral mechanisms that impede the immune responses to infections that are often associated with high mortality rates.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,400+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Escape Prevention
Studying flu virus structure brings us a step closer to a permanent vaccine.
Monday, October 05, 2015
Asthma Cells Scramble Like ‘There’s a Fire Drill’
Movement offers insight into mechanisms of asthma, other diseases.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Giant Leap Against Diabetes
Ability to produce embryonic stem cells will allow researchers to push faster toward cure.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Airway Muscle-On-A-Chip Mimics Asthma
Tissue-level model of human airway musculature could pave way for patient-specific asthma treatments.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Cancer Vaccine Begins Phase I Clinical Trials
Cross-disciplinary team brings novel therapeutic cancer vaccine to human clinical trials.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Scientific News
Understanding Female HIV Transmission
Glowing virus maps points of entry through entire female reproductive tract for first time.
COPD Linked to Increased Bacterial Invasion
Persistent inflammation in COPD may result from a defect in the immune system that allows airway bacteria to invade deeper into the lung.
Finding Factors That Protect Against Flu
A clinical trial examining the body’s response to seasonal flu suggests new approaches for evaluating the effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccines.
Vaccinations Are More Effective When Administered In The Morning
Research from the University of Birmingham shows that influenza vaccinations have more protective responses when administered in the morning.
Secrets of a Deadly Virus Family Revealed
Scripps Research scientists uncover the glycoprotein structure of LCMV. The findings could guide development of treatments for Lassa fever.
Cytokine Triggers Immune Response at Expense of Blood Renewal
Research highlights promise of Anti-IL-1 drugs to treat chronic inflammatory disease.
Reduced Immune Response Causes Flu Deaths in Older Adults
Yale study suggests that immune response to flu causes death in older people, not the virus.
Exposure To Routine Viruses Makes Mice Better Test Subjects
Study shows that infections make mouse immune system act more like that in humans.
Immune Booster Tested in Advanced Merkel Cell Cancer
The immunotherapy drug produced durable responses in many patients.
Factors Influencing Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Uncovered
The long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited, new research suggests.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!