Monday, May 11, 2009

Smallpox and the secrets of the human immune system

An article on smallpox! And it's interesting too...

So University of Florida researchers have discovered that smallpox wrecked havoc in part by disabling the inflammation response that constitutes one of the first lines of defense against disease. They did a systematic examination of all the proteins produced by smallpox when interacting with human DNA proteins. Through this examination they found that a viral protein G1R, when interacting with human nuclear factor kappa-B1, resulted in a high inhibition of inflammation that has few peers in virology. Unfortunately the article does not mention any results regarding the other smallpox proteins that were examined, but the research presented in this article could not only prove fruitful for further developments in smallpox treatments and vaccines, but also for a much deeper and nuanced picture of the human immune response, which could assist other researchers in developing treatments for other diseases.

Article link:

-Andrew Plan

1 comment:

  1. Ooh I'm excited because I learned something similar for my tutorial essay about the complement system - vaccinia has complement evasion strategies that allow it to inhibit complement (part of the innate immune system). It accomplishes this by producing proteins that structurally mimic complement proteins, thus competing with actual substrates, and also by dissociating complement complexes. Viruses are so smart...