Navigation Links
Researchers moving towards ending threat of West Nile virus
Date:7/3/2012

Mosquitoes are buzzing once again, and with that comes the threat of West Nile virus. Tom Hobman, a researcher with the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, is making every effort to put an end to this potentially serious infection.

West Nile virus infections often result in flu-like symptoms that aren't life-threatening, and some in cases, infected people show no symptoms at all. But a significant percentage of patients develop serious neurological disease that includes inflammation in the brain, paralysis and seizures. In his latest research, published in the journal PLoS One, Hobman has discovered how the virus breaks through the normally rock-solid blood-brain barrier to the central nervous system. The virus breaks down two vital proteins that make up what is called the tight junction, a part of the blood-brain barrier.

"What we found in infected cells is there's less of two proteins called claudin and JAM (junctional adhesion molecule)," said Hobman. "The virus replication is causing degradation of two very important molecules that form these intra-cellular barriers. We can quantitate this and we've looked in at least three different cell types and we see the same thing happening."

Now Hobman and his graduate student Zaikun Xu would like to know how this is happening. Cells have built in pathways that regulate tight junctions, in part by controlling the levels of both JAM and claudin. Hobman hypothesizes that West Nile virus infection causes these pathways to go awry resulting in accelerated breakdown of claudin and JAM.

"Once we understand how West Nile virus affects the pathways that control the tight junctions of the blood-brain barrier, it may be possible to design drugs that prevent infection of the brain. I expect this will also be the case for related viruses that infect the central nervous system."

This builds on work his lab published last year showing that when they inhibited the expression of a specific cellular protein, infectivity of the West Nile virus went down by more than 100 times.


'/>"/>

Contact: Quinn Phillips
quinn.phillips@ualberta.ca
780-248-2048
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NOAA researchers see dramatic decline of endangered white abalone
2. BESC researchers tap into genetic reservoir of heat-loving bacteria
3. Researchers and communities at risk join forces in volcano study
4. Penn researchers improve living tissues with 3-D printed vascular networks made from sugar
5. BUSM researchers identify role of FOXO1 gene in Parkinsons disease
6. How sweet it is: Tomato researchers discover link between ripening, color and taste
7. Researchers discover potential explanation for why a diet high in DHA improves memory
8. Rice researchers develop paintable battery
9. UMass Medical School researchers discover a new role for RNAi
10. Researchers develop new method for analyzing cell function
11. Maths formula leads researchers to source of pollution
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, ... the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... competition will focus on developing health and wellness apps ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon ... The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 2017  higi, the health IT company that operates ... America , today announced a Series B investment ... EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy ... transform population health activities through the collection and workflow ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf of ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... MILAN , March 24, 2017 The Controller ... Deputy Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international ... Continue Reading ... ... small picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/14/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... Clinical Trials event, which will take place on September 6, 2017 at the ... Karlin, MD , Head of Experimental Medicine, Informatics, and Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... , ... Algenist continues to disrupt the skincare industry with today’s debut of ... Collagen is the key structural element skin needs to maintain its youthful appearance and ... First to market with proprietary collagen water active , ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Teachers from three Philadelphia middle schools are ... the 16th, the University City Science Center will kick off the second FirstHand ... middle school educators an opportunity for professional development related to STEM education. ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... Okyanos Center for Regenerative Medicine has announced ... Bay Hotel in Freeport, Grand Bahama on September 27, 2017. This daytime event is ... oversight from the Ministry of Health’s National Stem Cell Ethics Committee (NSCEC) and regulations ...
Breaking Biology Technology: