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: Growing a blood vessel in a week

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

MasterCard, Zwipe announce fingerprint-sensor card

18 hours ago

On Friday, MasterCard and Oslo, Norway-based Zwipe announced the launch of a contactless payment card featuring an integrated fingerprint sensor. Say goodbye to PINs. This card, they said, is the world's ...

Plastic nanoparticles also harm freshwater organisms

19 hours ago

Organisms can be negatively affected by plastic nanoparticles, not just in the seas and oceans but in freshwater bodies too. These particles slow the growth of algae, cause deformities in water fleas and impede communication ...

Atomic trigger shatters mystery of how glass deforms

19 hours ago

Throw a rock through a window made of silica glass, and the brittle, insulating oxide pane shatters. But whack a golf ball with a club made of metallic glass—a resilient conductor that looks like metal—and the glass not ...

Recommended for you

Growing a blood vessel in a week

Oct 24, 2014

The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days. This is shown ...

Testing time for stem cells

Oct 24, 2014

DefiniGEN is one of the first commercial opportunities to arise from Cambridge's expertise in stem cell research. Here, we look at some of the fundamental research that enables it to supply liver and pancreatic ...

Team finds key signaling pathway in cause of preeclampsia

Oct 23, 2014

A team of researchers led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology has published findings that provide novel insight into the cause of preeclampsia, the leading cause ...

Rapid test to diagnose severe sepsis

Oct 23, 2014

A new test, developed by University of British Columbia researchers, could help physicians predict within an hour if a patient will develop severe sepsis so they can begin treatment immediately.

User comments : 0