How do Ebola virus proteins released in exosomes affect the immune system?

March 16, 2017, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Cells infected by the deadly Ebola virus may release viral proteins such as VP40 packaged in exosomes, which, as new research indicates, can affect immune cells throughout the body impairing their ability to combat the infection and to seek out and destroy hidden virus. The potential for exosomal VP40 to have a substantial impact on Ebola virus disease is examined in a review article published in DNA and Cell Biology.

In the article entitled "The Role of Exosomal VP40 in Ebola Virus Disease," Michelle Pleet, Catherine DeMarino, and Fatha Kashanchi, George Mason University, Benjamin Lepene, Ceres Nanosciences, Manassas, VA, and M. Javad Aman, Integrated BioTherapeutics, Gaithersburg, MD, discuss the latest research on the effects of the Ebola VP40 matrix protein on the immune system. The authors suggest that in addition to VP40, additional may also be packaged in the membrane-bound exosomal vesicles, intensifying the damaging effects on .

"Starting in December 2013, Ebola re-emerged in Western Africa and devastated the population of three countries, prompting an international response of physicians and of basic and translational scientists. This epidemic led to the development of new vaccines, therapeutics, and insights into disease pathogenesis and epidemiology," says Carol Shoshkes Reiss, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of DNA and Cell Biology and Professor, Departments of Biology and Neural Science, and Global Public Health at New York University, NY. "This paper from Pleet and colleagues is important because it shows that Ebola-infected cells secrete small bits of cytoplasm inside membranes, which contain Ebola viral proteins that can damage neighboring and distant host cells."

Explore further: Vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola

More information: Michelle L. Pleet et al, The Role of Exosomal VP40 in Ebola Virus Disease, DNA and Cell Biology (2017). DOI: 10.1089/dna.2017.3639

Related Stories

Vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola

January 11, 2017
Viruses and their hosts are in a eternal game of one-upmanship. If a host cell evolves a way to stop a virus from spreading, the virus will look for a new path. And so on and so forth.

Researchers find how Ebola disables the immune system

December 6, 2016
A new study at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston sheds light on how Ebola so effectively disables the human immune system.

Recommended for you

Global burden of low back pain—a consequence of negligence and misinformation

March 21, 2018
A series of groundbreaking papers from Australian and international researchers in The Lancet, published today (22/3) warns that low back pain is a major health burden globally - across developed and developing nations - ...

Microscopic 'shuttles' transport enzyme from cells to trigger onset of kidney disease

March 21, 2018
A new study involving the University of Sheffield has identified a key culprit in the onset of kidney disease in a major marker for kidney disease development.

Metabolite therapy proves effective in treating C. difficile in mice

March 20, 2018
A team of UCLA researchers found that a metabolite therapy was effective in mice for treating a serious infection of the colon known as Clostridium difficile infection, or C. difficile.

Sick air travelers mostly likely to infect next row: study

March 19, 2018
People who fly on airplanes while contagious can indeed get other people sick, but the risk is mainly to those seated next to them or in the adjacent row, US researchers said Monday.

Study of COPD patients has created a 'looking glass' into genome of pathogen

March 19, 2018
Decades of work on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at the University at Buffalo and the Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System have yielded extraordinary information about the pathogen that does ...

Newly described human antibody prevents malaria in mice

March 19, 2018
Scientists have discovered a human antibody that protected mice from infection with the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The research findings provide the basis for future testing in humans to determine ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.