Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Researchers Identify Tactic Dengue Virus Uses to Delay Triggering Immune Response

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When a person is infected with the Dengue virus, the body detects the infection through a protein, which acts as a cytosolic DNA sensor, called cyclic GMP-AMO synthase (cGAS). The Dengue virus is recognized by cGAS through traces of mitochondrial DNA found in the cytoplasm from the virus. The cGAS then binds to the DNA and activates the cGAS/cGAMP/STING pathway, which induces type 1 interferon signaling. Once this happens, with body's immune system responds to the infection. In the study, it has discovered that the virus tries to reduce the chances of triggering this cycle by degrading cGAS and stopping it from binding to the mitochondrial DNA. The virus is able to do this by releasing a cofactor called NS2B.  In conducting this study, the researchers have found interest in mapping how cGAS recognizes this virus and learning more on mitochondrial DNA's role in conducting an immune response. This article was interesting to read about because it sheds light on how viruses are evolving to bypass the human body's detection. It is also interesting because this information can help scientist to help fight against this disease which affects 400 million people each year.   

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