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Research details how a virus hijacks cell signals to cause infection

the virus to move into the tight junction, where it can reach the CAR. A second signal leads the virus to move deeper into cells where it can release its nucleic acid payload and complete the process of infection.

"We showed for the first time that this virus is dependent on signaling pathways to drive invasion," said Dr. Bergelson. Specifically, the coxsackievirus activates kinases, enzymes that are instrumental in moving structures within cells.

"These particular kinases were previously known to be active in cancers, where their signaling functions go out of control," he added. "However, kinases have a normal function, in enabling cells to respond to hormones or growth factors. We showed in this study that viruses can co-opt kinase signaling processes to advance an infection."

In describing how the coxsackievirus takes advantage of signaling pathways, added Dr. Bergelson, his investigations revealed steps in a virus's life cycle that were previously unknown. "Eventually this understanding may yield clinical benefits, by contributing to future therapies to block viral infections. For now, we have learned more about cell functions, and how viruses may evolve unexpected methods to force themselves into cells."


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Contact: John Ascenzi
Ascenzi@email.chop.edu
267-426-6055
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
12-Jan-2006


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