ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Is Coconut Oil Healthy? (The American Heart Association Doesn’t Think So)

American Heart Association Renders Itself Obsolete With 1960s Dietary Advice on Coconut Oil

Ginger Fights Obesity

Health Benefits of Artichokes

Putting the Spotlight on Coriander Seed Oil

Migraines? Powdered Ginger May Help

Are Americans Really Getting Too Much Vitamin D? A Critical Look at Recent Media Warnings

Eating more vegetable protein may protect against early menopause

German Chamomile Oil: A Versatile Essential Oil You Should Have at Home

Vitamin C and antibiotics: A new one-two 'punch' for knocking-out cancer stem cells

 
Print Page
Email Article

Immunity Research: Cellular Power Plants Also Fend Off Viruses

  [ 156 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • August 31, 2005


Researchers have discovered a surprise lurking inside mitochondria, the power plants that are present in every cell. It turns out that these powerhouses also contain a protein that triggers the immune system to attack viral invaders. According to the researchers, the new role makes perfect biological and evolutionary sense because it fits well with another function of mitochondria as executioners of a biochemical cascade that causes programmed cell death, or apoptosis. “I think our discovery reveals another important function of the mitochondria, and that is in immunity. This is the first protein known to be involved in the immune response that is found in mitochondria,” said Zhijian `James' Chen, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Chen and his colleagues reported the discovery on August 25, 2005, in an immediate early publication of the journal Cell. In their studies, Chen and his colleagues were seeking a regulatory molecule that would provide a missing link in the activation of two important triggers of the innate immune system — NF-?B and IRF3. Somehow, these molecules are activated in response to a receptor molecule, called RIG-I, which detects viral genetic material. RIG-I binds to the RNA of viruses such as the influenza virus, hepatitis C virus, West Nile virus and SARS virus. The researchers knew the molecule they were seeking was present in a biochemical pathway somewhere between RIG-I and other “downstream” regulatory molecules. They initiated a search for this missing molecule by searching for proteins in the cell that contain a characteristic molecular domain, called a CARD domain, which mediates interactions between different regulatory proteins. Their search yielded a protein, which they called MAVS for mitochondrial antiviral signaling. Their experiments revealed that MAVS activated NF-?B and IRF3 in cell cultures. They also found that in order for MAVS to function, it requires both the CARD domain and another domain that anchors it to the mitochondrial membrane. Studies using fluorescent tracers revealed that MAVS was present in the mitochondria of cells. And when the researchers altered the MAVS molecule in such a way that it prevented MAVS from attaching to mitochondria, the molecule did not function properly. The researchers demonstrated the importance of MAVS in immune responses by showing that cells without MAVS were vulnerable to viral infection; while those with excess MAVS were resistant to such infections. Chen speculated that the mitochondria might have evolved into immune sentinels because of their location near internal cell membranes where viral replication takes place. “By having MAVS in the mitochondrial membrane, it provides a strategic position for cells to sense the presence of viruses, especially viral replication,” said Chen. “In addition, MAVS is unique in that it has both a mitochondrial targeting sequence, as well as a CARD domain sequence,” said Chen. “CARD domain proteins are known to be involved in apoptosis, and the mitochondria are also known to be involved in apoptosis. So, while at this point this is still pure speculation, but perhaps combining these two domains in one protein, MAVS, might allow the cells to integrate signals somehow and coordinate apoptotic responses or immune responses, depending on the type of viral infection.” Apoptosis is triggered when a cell is no longer needed during development or is damaged beyond repair. It serves to protect the body from the accumulation of damaged or malfunctioning cells. Chen said that the newly discovered immunological service rendered to the cell by mitochondria makes good biological and evolutionary sense. “Evolutionarily, it is believed that mitochondria originated from ancient bacteria, which formed a symbiotic relationship with eukaryotic cells,” said Chen. “For symbiosis to evolve, the bacteria and the host must be beneficial to one another. Mitochondria have long been known to serve the major function of producing chemical energy for the cell, as well as to sense damage and trigger apoptosis. Now, I think our discovery reveals another important function of the mitochondria, and that is in immunity,” he said. Understanding how boosting MAVS function causes cells to resist viral infection could have important clinical implications, said Chen. “Treatments that enhance the activity of MAVS may prove to be useful in boosting immunity against viruses,” he said. “Furthermore, we suspect that MAVS might be a prime target for some viruses that can evade immune surveillance. If those suspicions prove out, then treatments that counteract this evasion could provide therapeutic benefits,” he said. Chen also speculated that subtle variations in the MAVS protein might explain why people may respond differently when infected with the same virus. Chen and his colleagues are now exploring such questions, as well as teasing out further molecular details of the signaling mechanism by which MAVS triggers the immune system. “Over the long term, we would like to understand the host-viral interactions that function through MAVS, and how MAVS gives the cell immunity to viruses and how viruses try to evade this function of MAVS. We would like to exploit these findings to develop more effective antiviral strategies.” Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute press release. Online at http://www.hhmi.org/news/chen.html



Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®

Looking for Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements?
Search the ProHealth Store for Hundreds of Natural Health Products


Article Comments



Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment


 
NAD+ Ignite with Niagen

Featured Products

Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra ATP+, Double Strength
Get energized with malic acid & magnesium
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid

Natural Remedies

The Remarkable Benefits of Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms The Remarkable Benefits of Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms
Repair Damaged Mitochondria and Reduce Fatigue Up to 45% Repair Damaged Mitochondria and Reduce Fatigue Up to 45%
Could a B-12 Deficiency Be Causing Your Symptoms? Could a B-12 Deficiency Be Causing Your Symptoms?
Sleep Like a Baby in Nature's Cradle Sleep Like a Baby in Nature's Cradle
Undenatured Type II Collagen - Chicken Soup for Your Joints Undenatured Type II Collagen - Chicken Soup for Your Joints

CONTACT US
ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE
Credit Card Processing
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2017 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map