Breaking News
July 17, 2018 - Pre-clinical pilot study shows promising results of ‘concussion pill’
July 17, 2018 - Researchers reduce size of tumors in mice by artificially activating the brain’s reward system
July 17, 2018 - New study documents symptoms of people before they acquire multiple sclerosis
July 17, 2018 - Researchers discover why CRISPR gene editing sometimes fails
July 17, 2018 - New finding may hold key to better understand the complexities of neurological disorders
July 17, 2018 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Novel Targets.
July 17, 2018 - Fighting the Flu with a Universal Vaccine
July 17, 2018 - Key social reward circuit in the brain impaired in kids with autism | News Center
July 17, 2018 - Insight into causes, types and treatment of aphasia
July 16, 2018 - Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc Announces First Patient Dosed in Phase 3 Clinical Trial of QPI-1002 for Prevention of Acute Kidney Injury Following Cardiac Surgery
July 16, 2018 - NSAIDs shown to have causal role in cardiovascular risk of patients with osteoarthritis
July 16, 2018 - PET scan tracer predicts success of cancer ‘vaccine’ | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Parents struggle with what to do when their child has headache, shows study
July 16, 2018 - Outrageous or overblown? HHS announces another round of ACA navigator funding cuts
July 16, 2018 - Weight loss surgery may impact individual’s risk of developing cancer, shows study
July 16, 2018 - Alexion Submits Application for Priority Review and Approval of ALXN1210 as a Treatment for Patients with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) in the U.S.
July 16, 2018 - Restoring epigenetic balance reinstates memory in flies with Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
July 16, 2018 - Magnetized wire could be used to detect cancer in people | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Non-surgical management found to be feasible option for penetrating kidney trauma
July 16, 2018 - California clinic screens asylum seekers for honesty
July 16, 2018 - FDA Approves Xtandi (enzalutamide) for the Treatment of Men with Non-Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC)
July 16, 2018 - Can nanotechnology help treat Alzheimer’s?
July 16, 2018 - Researchers identify protein essential for making stem cells | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Radiologist discusses causes, treatments of varicose veins
July 16, 2018 - Researchers develop nanostructured surface to accelerate wound healing after dental implants
July 16, 2018 - New non-invasive procedure to reposition kidney stones could benefit astronauts
July 16, 2018 - Attending Surgeon Influences Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer
July 16, 2018 - Medical doctors with addictions fear professional repercussions if they seek treatment
July 16, 2018 - 5 Questions: John Ioannidis calls for more rigorous nutrition research | News Center
July 16, 2018 - University of Illinois buys 3D-Bioplotter for regenerative biology, tissue engineering research
July 16, 2018 - Charité’s researchers integrate open-source platform into the ‘Human Brain Project’
July 16, 2018 - SUSU scientists develop rehabilitation device for people with lower limbs injuries
July 16, 2018 - Researchers find definite increase in scooter-related injuries
July 16, 2018 - Researchers solve mystery of final blood group system
July 16, 2018 - Researchers develop near-infrared fluorophores-based PDT to cure cancer with less side effects
July 16, 2018 - Traumatic brain injury biomarker could help predict patient prognosis
July 16, 2018 - Researchers to investigate role of hormones in mosquito’s ability to use human blood for egg production
July 16, 2018 - AHA: Doctor Makes Lifesaving House Call in His Own Home
July 16, 2018 - Nearsightedness – Genetics Home Reference
July 16, 2018 - Study shows biomarker panel boosts lung cancer risk assessment for smokers
July 16, 2018 - Researchers find link between bereavement during pregnancy, child’s mental health | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Legalizing same-sex marriage has meaningful effects on health care access for sexual-minority men
July 16, 2018 - New York to allow medical marijuana as substitute to opioids
July 16, 2018 - Reducing tapeworm infection could improve academic performance, reduce poverty | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Researchers describe key role of enzyme in regulating immune response against Chagas disease parasite
July 16, 2018 - Johnson & Johnson Announces Publication in The Lancet Highlighting Robust Immune Response to Janssen’s Mosaic-based Preventive Vaccine Regimen for HIV
July 16, 2018 - Do Racial and Gender Disparities Exist in Newer Glaucoma Treatments?
July 16, 2018 - Antibodies may predict transplant rejection risk
July 16, 2018 - New center sets out to stop disease before it starts | News Center
July 16, 2018 - FDA warns consumers about criminals sending fake warning letters
July 16, 2018 - Residential segregation linked with racial disparities in firearm homicide fatalities
July 16, 2018 - UW-Madison researchers develop new method to track Parkinson’s damage in the heart
July 16, 2018 - New approach to cultivate hypoallergenic tomato and strawberry varieties
July 16, 2018 - Smoking associated with delayed shinbone healing
July 16, 2018 - Sheila Dolezal, ‘team player extraordinaire,’ wins 2018 Amy J. Blue Award | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Advanced Prostate Cancer Variant More Common Than Thought
July 16, 2018 - New ways to conquer sleep apnea compete for place in bedroom
July 16, 2018 - Renowned microbe hunter Stanley Falkow dies at 84 | News Center
July 15, 2018 - FDA Slaps Stronger Warnings on Potent Class of Antibiotics, Fluoroquinolones
July 15, 2018 - Don’t let depression keep you from exercising
July 15, 2018 - Student research symposium showcases curiosity and scholarship | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Heavy smokers have increased risk of heart rhythm disorder, shows study
July 15, 2018 - Parents who had severe trauma, stresses in childhood more likely to have kids with behavioral health problems
July 15, 2018 - At colloquium, a range of views on value of predictive algorithms | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Pittcon invites oral and poster presentations for 2019 Technical Program
July 15, 2018 - Virtual reality could offer psychotherapy for fear of heights, study shows
July 15, 2018 - Retooled vaccine raises hopes as a lower-cost treatment for Type 1 diabetes
July 15, 2018 - Kolon TissueGene To Start US Phase III Clinical Trial For Invossa
July 15, 2018 - Study finds prenatal marijuana use can affect infant size, behavior
July 15, 2018 - Howard Chang named HHMI investigator | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Study shows tailored mental health services improve wellbeing of emerging adults
July 15, 2018 - A bright future might help teens steer clear of violence
July 15, 2018 - Stanford Medicine magazine explores the art, science of listening and hearing | News Center
July 15, 2018 - New study tracks how the brain turns simple sensory inputs into meaningful categories
July 15, 2018 - Deadlier subtype of metastatic prostate cancer found to be common than previously thought
July 15, 2018 - UZH scientists identify enzyme that controls cell division
July 15, 2018 - Unhealthy Food Behaviors May Signal Eating Disorder in Teen
July 15, 2018 - Study raises doubts on a previous theory of Parkinson’s disease
July 15, 2018 - Grant awarded to study whether stem cells can treat urinary incontinence | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Imaging techniques may help assess immune system recovery in HIV patients
Study finds molecular handle that chikungunya virus uses to enter into cells and cause arthritis

Study finds molecular handle that chikungunya virus uses to enter into cells and cause arthritis

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Chikungunya virus is a growing threat to the United States and other regions of the world as the mosquito that carries the virus expands its reach. Telltale symptoms of chikungunya infection are fever and joint pain that last about a week. But in up to half of patients, the virus can cause a debilitating form of arthritis that persists for months or even years.

Scientists have understood little about how chikungunya and related viruses cause arthritis. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified the molecular handle that chikungunya grabs to get inside cells. The findings, published May 16 in the journal Nature, could lead to ways to prevent or treat disease caused by chikungunya and related viruses.

The handle, or receptor, is located on cells that build cartilage, muscle and bone. Joints are filled with such cells, which helps explain patients’ painful symptoms. Further, by creating decoy handles, the researchers showed that they could reduce chikungunya infection and signs of arthritis.

“The name chikungunya comes from the Makonde language of Tanzania, and it means ‘to walk bent over.’ That’s how painful the arthritis can be,” said senior author Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD, the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine at the School of Medicine. “We now know how chikungunya gets into cells, and we may have found a way to block the infection. If the virus cannot get into the cell, it is unable to replicate and cause infection and disease.

There are no specific treatments or vaccines for chikungunya and related viruses, known as arthritogenic alphaviruses. Doctors simply recommend rest, fluids and over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

With the aid of a warming planet and modern means of transportation, mosquitoes that carry chikungunya and related viruses are spreading. Once limited to Asia and Africa, chikungunya virus has infected more than a million people in the Caribbean and South America in an outbreak that began in 2013 and continues to this day.

Figuring out how the virus gets inside cells is considered a step toward slowing its spread. Diamond, first author and postdoctoral researcher Rong Zhang, PhD, and colleagues identified the protein on cells that chikungunya virus latches onto.

The protein is called Mxra8, and it is needed for chikungunya to invade both human and mouse cells, the researchers found. Additional experiments showed that not just chikungunya but its arthritis-causing relatives – Mayaro, Ross River, O’nyongnyong and Barmah Forest viruses – require the protein to get into cells.

Since chikungunya uses Mxra8 protein as a handle to open a door into cells, the researchers tested whether preventing the virus from grabbing that handle could reduce infection. They deluged the virus with decoy handles, reasoning that chikungunya would grab the decoy and be locked out of cells. Only the few individual viruses that lucked onto a true handle could infect cells, so the overall infection rate – and signs of arthritis – would fall.

And that’s just what they found. A day after infection, the level of virus in the mice’s ankles and calf muscles was between tenfold and a hundredfold lower in the animals that had been treated with Mxra8 proteins or blocking antibodies than those that received placebo, and the numbers remained lower over the next two days. In addition, three days after treatment, the mice that had received the protein exhibited much less swelling in their ankles than those that received the placebo.

The results suggest that a compound that blocks the virus from attaching to Mxra8 on the surface of cells could prevent or reduce arthritis.

“Not much is known about what Mxra8 does in the human body, so we need more information before developing a drug that targets Mxra8,” said Diamond, who also is a professor of molecular microbiology, and of pathology and immunology. “But we could more immediately develop a drug that targets the virus and prevent it from attaching to this protein.”

The researchers are working on mapping the structure of the protein and locating the exact spot to which the virus attaches. Such information could help researchers design a compound to interfere with the virus’s ability to hold onto the protein, or to design vaccines to prevent infection.

Source:

Why chikungunya, other arthritis-causing viruses target joints

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles