Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

More than a machine

21.11.2012
Ribosome regulates viral protein synthesis, revealing potential therapeutic target

Viruses can be elusive quarry. RNA viruses are particularly adept at defeating antiviral drugs because they are so inaccurate in making copies of themselves. With at least one error in every genome they copy, viral genomes are moving targets for antiviral drugs, creating resistant mutants as they multiply. In the best-known example of success against retroviruses, it takes multiple-drug cocktails to corner HIV and narrow its escape route.

Rather than target RNA viruses themselves, aiming at the host cells they invade could hold promise, but any such strategy would have to be harmless to the host. Now, a surprising discovery made in ribosomes may point the way to fighting fatal viral infections such as rabies.

Results were published online November 19 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The ribosome has traditionally been viewed as the cell's molecular machine, automatically chugging along, synthesizing proteins the cell needs to carry out the functions of life. But Amy Lee, a former graduate student in the program of virology, and Sean Whelan, HMS professor of microbiology and immunobiology, now say the ribosome appears to take a more active role, regulating the translation of specific proteins and ultimately how some viruses replicate.

The researchers were studying differences between how viruses and the host cells they infect carry out the process of translating messenger RNAs (mRNAs) into proteins. Focusing on protein components found on the surface of the ribosome, they discovered a protein that some viruses depend on to make other proteins, but that the vast majority of cellular mRNAs do not need.

Called rpL40, this ribosomal protein could represent a target for potential treatments; blocking it would disable certain viruses while leaving normal cells largely unaffected.

"Because certain viruses are very sensitive to the presence and absence of these ribosomal proteins, it might be a useful way for us to think about targeting ribosomes for therapeutic purposes from an antiviral standpoint," said Whelan. "This is a way to think about interfering with rabies virus infection. There are no therapeutics for rabies infection."

The team screened protein constituents of the ribosome to see which ones might be involved in specialized protein synthesis. Studying the vesicular stomatitis virus, a rhabdovirus in the same family as the rabies virus, they found that its mRNAs depended on rpL40 but only 7 percent of host-cellular mRNAs did. Some of the cellular mRNAs that depend upon rpL40 were stress response genes.

Experiments in yeast and human cells revealed that a class of viruses, which includes rabies and measles, depended on rpL40 for replication.

"This work reveals that the ribosome is not just an automatic molecular machine but instead also acts as a translational regulator," said first author Amy Lee, who is now a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley.

The concept of targeting cellular functions such as protein synthesis for antiviral therapies is being explored by a number of research groups, but there are no drugs based on this.

"We think the principle is bigger than just this single protein," Whelan said. "Viruses have an uncanny way of teaching us new biology all the time."

David Cameron | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hms.harvard.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch
22.05.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Vielseitige Nanokugeln: Forscher bauen künstliche Zellkompartimente als molekulare Werkstatt

Wie verleiht man Zellen neue Eigenschaften ohne ihren Stoffwechsel zu behindern? Ein Team der Technischen Universität München (TUM) und des Helmholtz Zentrums München veränderte Säugetierzellen so, dass sie künstliche Kompartimente bildeten, in denen räumlich abgesondert Reaktionen ablaufen konnten. Diese machten die Zellen tief im Gewebe sichtbar und mittels magnetischer Felder manipulierbar.

Prof. Gil Westmeyer, Professor für Molekulare Bildgebung an der TUM und Leiter einer Forschungsgruppe am Helmholtz Zentrum München, und sein Team haben dies...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Kosmische Ravioli und Spätzle

Die inneren Monde des Saturns sehen aus wie riesige Ravioli und Spätzle. Das enthüllten Bilder der Raumsonde Cassini. Nun konnten Forscher der Universität Bern erstmals zeigen, wie diese Monde entstanden sind. Die eigenartigen Formen sind eine natürliche Folge von Zusammenstössen zwischen kleinen Monden ähnlicher Grösse, wie Computersimulationen demonstrieren.

Als Martin Rubin, Astrophysiker an der Universität Bern, die Bilder der Saturnmonde Pan und Atlas im Internet sah, war er verblüfft. Die Nahaufnahmen der...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Raumschrott im Fokus

Das Astronomische Institut der Universität Bern (AIUB) hat sein Observatorium in Zimmerwald um zwei zusätzliche Kuppelbauten erweitert sowie eine Kuppel erneuert. Damit stehen nun sechs vollautomatisierte Teleskope zur Himmelsüberwachung zur Verfügung – insbesondere zur Detektion und Katalogisierung von Raumschrott. Unter dem Namen «Swiss Optical Ground Station and Geodynamics Observatory» erhält die Forschungsstation damit eine noch grössere internationale Bedeutung.

Am Nachmittag des 10. Februars 2009 stiess über Sibirien in einer Höhe von rund 800 Kilometern der aktive Telefoniesatellit Iridium 33 mit dem ausgedienten...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industrie & Wirtschaft
Veranstaltungen

22. Business Forum Qualität: Vom Smart Device bis zum Digital Twin

22.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen

48V im Fokus!

21.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen

„Data Science“ – Theorie und Anwendung: Internationale Tagung unter Leitung der Uni Paderborn

18.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen

VideoLinks
Wissenschaft & Forschung
Weitere VideoLinks im Überblick >>>
 
Aktuelle Beiträge

PM des MCC: CO2-Entzug aus Atmosphäre für 1,5-Grad-Ziel unvermeidbar

23.05.2018 | Geowissenschaften

Autonome Schifffahrt: Transdisziplinäre Forschung an der Uni Kiel

23.05.2018 | Informationstechnologie

Vielseitige Nanokugeln: Forscher bauen künstliche Zellkompartimente als molekulare Werkstatt

22.05.2018 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Weitere B2B-VideoLinks
IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics