Latest Weapon Against Cancer - Measles Virus

by Kathy Jones on  January 16, 2011 at 5:50 PM Research News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

Scientists say that the process by which measles invades cells has brought the dream of transforming the virus into a weapon against cancer one step closer to reality.
 Latest Weapon Against Cancer - Measles Virus
Latest Weapon Against Cancer - Measles Virus

A research team including scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. have produced a detailed picture of the intricate molecular mechanism that measles virus uses to attach to and enter the cells it infects.

The key players are two proteins that form the spherical envelope surrounding the genetic material of the measles virus. One is an attachment protein that binds to receptor molecules on the outer membrane of a host cell, and the other is a fusion protein that merges the viral envelope with the cell membrane, enabling the virus to infect the cell. The study demonstrated that the intrinsic flexibility of the attachment protein is a necessary condition to initiate the cell fusion process.

"The overall goal of our Mayo Clinic collaborator, Roberto Cattaneo, is to redirect the measles virus to attack specific cancer cells, and to accomplish that he and his group need to know as much as they can about the mechanisms of measles infection," said UTMB professor Werner Braun, an author of the study.

"We have a long-standing collaboration with his group, using our theoretical predictions and computational methods to help them better target their experimental work."

UTMB Health research scientist Numan Oezguen used computer-based molecular modeling to predict interaction sites and suggested specific mutations that would alter the interaction and mobility of the attachment protein heads.

Results of these experiments performed by the Mayo Clinic team - led by Cattaneo - showed that cell entry of the measles virus depends on a twisting motion of the attachment protein's heads.

To produce an accurate portrait of the dynamic mechanism the Mayo Clinic group created measles viruses with mutations affecting the mobility of their attachment protein heads, and then tested the mutated viruses to determine each type's ability to infect cells.

"What Dr. Cattaneo's experiments showed was that the motion of these two parts of the attachment protein has a dramatic effect on infectivity," Braun said.

"In a simplified sense, we think this works like a lever - if the cell receptors pull on the attachment protein properly, they generate this type of motion, and this triggers the fusion protein and leads to infectivity."

The study has been published in the recent issue of Nature Structural Biology and Molecular Biology.

Source: ANI

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

Related Links

More News on:

Measles Shigellosis Cancer and Homeopathy Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Rashes Symptom Evaluation Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

Facebook

News Category

News Archive