Herpes virus is decrypted in its genetic structure
Herpes virus type HSV-1 (Herpes simplex Virus 1) can not only trigger cold sores, but also much more serious diseases. The Virus is once in the body, it remains dormant in the cells and can potentially erupt again and again. An international research team has now succeeded to decode the DNA of the Virus comprehensively and to gain important new insights.
With new methods the genome of HSV-1 was decrypted and in the process, hundreds have been discovered previously unknown gene products, the communication of the Julius-Maximilians-University (JMU) in Würzburg to the study results. Researchers at the JMU, the Max-Delbrück-center for Molecular medicine in Berlin, the University of Cambridge (England) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich (LMU) have developed together the new findings about the Virus. Published their results in the journal “Nature Communications”.
Herpesvirus infections can be life-threatening
The herpes simplex virus HSV-1 usually occurs as the cause of unpleasant itchy lip blisters in appearance, the infection with this strain of the virus but can also have far more serious consequences, according to JMU. So the Virus could lead, for example, in the case of patients in intensive care units-threatening lung life trigger inflammation and inflammation even in Healthy Brain, often at the end of the brain, permanent damage.
Virus remains in the body
After the first infection with HSV-1 nest of the virus, the research team explained permanently in the cells of the body, and remain there often for a long time, unobtrusively, until they are under special circumstances, such as a weakening of the immune system active again. “Anyone who has been infected with the Virus, it retains for the Rest of his life,” the researchers continue.
New findings on HSV-1
So far, the assumption that there are in the genome of HSV-1, about 80 so-called open reading frame was considered, in those Points where the information of the DNA are read and are translated into proteins. In the current investigation, however, it became clear that a total of 284 such a reading frame is present in the case of HSV-1, according to JMU. And this reading grid of hundreds of viral transcripts, could also be identified, so the message of the University to be translated.
“The new findings make it possible to examine the individual genes of the Virus are still much more precise than before”, says Professor Lars Dölken, head of the JMU Department of Virology and shared with JMU Junior Professor for system-Virology Florian Erhard, a leader in the project. For the study, a wide range had been used the newest system of biological methods.
For the improvement of cancer therapy use
From the findings, the researchers hope to obtain not only a better understanding of the Virus itself, but also a concrete impact, for example on the development of HSV-1-based oncolytic viruses. These viruses, for example, in the case of immunological therapies for certain tumor diseases, such as Malignant melanoma (skin cancer). The Knowledge of the exact genetic structure of the virus could be used for further improvements of this therapy approaches used. (fp)