Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Proteomics
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 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ 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

Delivering Hope in Ovarian Cancer
Gene therapy blocked chemoresistant tumor growth in mice.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Beyond Average
Researchers have created new platforms to genetically barcode tens of thousands of cells at a time allowing unprecedented detail to be uncovered when studying whole tissue samples.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
A Marker for Breast Cancer
Research says it soon may be possible to gauge individual risk for disease, and eventually to treat it.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
HC-LITT to Provide Stabilization Technology to the Harvard Research Community
Harvard research community will have access to the Denator’s Stabilizor™ system for stabilizing biological samples.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Molecule by Molecule, Assay Shows Real-time Gene Activity
The technique could provide Researchers with unprecedented insights into gene expression in living cells.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Scientific News
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Enzyme Links Age-Related Inflammation, Cancer
Researchers have shown that an enzyme key to regulating gene expression -- and also an oncogene when mutated -- is critical for the expression of numerous inflammatory compounds that have been implicated in age-related increases in cancer and tissue degeneration.
New Biomarker to Assess Stem Cells Developed
A research team led by scientists from UCL have found a way to assess the viability of 'manufactured' stem cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The team's discovery offers a new way to fast-track screening methods used in stem cell research.
Therapy Halts Progression of Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Researchers at Oregon State University announced today that they have essentially stopped the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, for nearly two years in one type of mouse model used to study the disease – allowing the mice to approach their normal lifespan.
Crouching Protein, Hidden Enzyme
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the University of California (UC), Berkeley shows how a crucial molecular enzyme starts in a tucked-in somersault position and flips out when it encounters the right target.
HIV Protein Manipulates Hundreds of Human Genes
Findings search for new or improved treatments for patients with AIDS.
First 3-D Vision of Cancer Target
This basic research set the grounds for structure-based drug design approaches that could be beneficial for cancer treatments' - Dr. Cyril Dominguez, University of Leicester.
New Light Shed on Genetic Regulation
A team of scientists has uncovered greater intricacy in protein signaling than was previously understood, shedding new light on the nature of genetic production.
Hacking the Programs of Cancer Stem Cells
All tumor cells are the offspring of a single, aberrant cell, but they are not all alike.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!