Killing the messenger

日期:2017-09-09 02:09:51 作者:诸厶 阅读:

By Michael Day A COMMON herpes virus can intercept signalling molecules that the body uses to marshal its defences, say researchers from the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The signalling molecules, called chemokines, attract immune cells so that they can destroy virus-infected cells. But cells infected by cytomegalovirus (CMV) produce “fake” receptors that mop up these important signalling chemicals before they do their job. The virus effectively intercepts the call for help, says team member Susan Michelson. “We believe this is the first description of a virus actually sequestering chemokines.” The researchers took human fibroblast cells and infected half of them with the virus. They report in The Journal of Experimental Medicine (vol 188, p 855) that infected cells caused a rapid depletion of chemokines. Uninfected cells, and cells infected with a mutant CMV strain that lacked the dummy receptor, did not lower the levels of chemokines. “By understanding this process we might learn how to fight CMV infection in bone marrow transplantation, where chemokines are very important for attracting and maturing new blood cells,