Study: The body forms viral 'highways'

Feb 21, 2007

U.S. scientists say they have discovered some retroviruses induce cells to form long bridges along which virus particles can move.

Walther Mothes and colleagues at the Yale School of Medicine discovered the novel mode of cell-to-cell transmission used by three retroviruses -- murine leukaemic virus, human immunodeficiency virus and avian leucosis virus -- along the outside of long, thin intercellular bridges.

Those bridges, say the scientists, seem to be stabilized by an association between a viral protein expressed by the infected cell and a viral-receptor protein in the target cell. Mutants of those proteins that cannot interact destabilize the bridges and markedly reduce viral spreading from cell to cell.

The researchers say that mode of transmission is observed in a variety of different cells, suggesting it might be a general mechanism of viral spreading.

The research appears in the March issue of Nature Cell Biology.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Treatment for overactive bladder and irritable bowel syndrome advanced through pioneering research

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Trapped: Cell-invading piece of virus captured in lab

Aug 06, 2014

In recent research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Saint Louis University investigators report catching integrase, the part of retroviruses like HIV that is responsible for insertion of the ...

Researchers explain mechanism that helps viruses spread

Jun 09, 2014

In an article published in the scientific journal Nature, a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues explain how RNA molecules found in certain viruses mimic the shape of other ...

Virus rounds up enzymes, disarms plant

Jun 02, 2014

University of Tokyo researchers have described how a plant-virus protein suppresses an important plant defense mechanism that remembers viral genetic information, providing a new target for developing the ...

Recommended for you

The impact of bacteria in our guts

21 minutes ago

The word metabolism gets tossed around a lot, but it means much more than whether you can go back to the buffet for seconds without worrying about your waistline. In fact, metabolism is the set of biochemical ...

Stem cell therapies hold promise, but obstacles remain

42 minutes ago

(Medical Xpress)—In an article appearing online today in the journal Science, a group of researchers, including University of Rochester neurologist Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., review the potential and ch ...

New hope in fight against muscular dystrophy

1 hour ago

Research at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology offers hope to those who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable, debilitating disease that cuts young lives short.

Biologists reprogram skin cells to mimic rare disease

20 hours ago

Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient's skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. ...

User comments : 0