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AIDS Weekly Plus
From hot springs to HIV, same protein complexes are hijacked to promote viruses
Staff Writer
June 24, 2013


2013 JUN 24 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at AIDS Weekly -- In eukaryotes - the group that includes plants and animals - and in archaea - micro-organisms with no defined nucleus in their cellular construction - viruses co-opt a group of important protein complexes called the Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport, or ESCRT (see also HIV/AIDS).

The researchers were studying Sulfolobus turreted icosahedral virus, or STIV, which infects Sulfolobus solfataricus, a species of archaea called a thermophile that can be found in volcanic springs, such those in Yellowstone National Park. Thermophiles are micro-organisms that survive in extremely hot environments. The researchers found that, as with a range of viruses that infect humans, STIV is also dependent upon its host's ESCRT machinery to complete its life cycle.

"The new work yields insight into the evolution of the relationship between hosts and viruses and, more importantly, presents us with a new and simple model system to study how viruses can hijack and utilize cellular machineries," said Stephen D. Bell, professor in the IU Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and Department of Biology. Bell is co-lead author on the paper that appears today in early online editions of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers looked for interactions between STIV and ESCRT proteins by using a technique in molecular biology called two-hybrid screening, which identifies binding interactions between two proteins or a protein and a DNA molecule. After finding two examples where viral proteins (the major capsid protein B345 and the viral protein C92) interacted with ESCRT proteins (SSO0619 and SSO0910), epiflouresence microscopy and transmission electron microscopy were used to determine exactly where ESCRT protein components localized in STIV-infected cells.

Keywords for this news article include: HIV/AIDS, Peptides, Proteins, Virology, Amino Acids, RNA Viruses, Retroviridae, HIV Infections, Indiana University, Vertebrate Viruses, Primate Lentiviruses, Viral Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

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