Basic Research: A New Wonder Property of Innate Immunity in Human Revealed


Researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center revealed a new wonder property of innate immunity rendered to human. Beclin 2, a mammalian specific protein apart from its regular duty of autophagy (a regular “housekeeping” task of body cells) of microbes and their constituent proteins also serves in inhibiting virus induced cancer.

Kaposi’s sarcoma is a tumor caused by infection of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). It is a systemic disease occur in immunosuppressed people like HIV infected patients. It shows characteristically as reddish or bluish-blackish macules and patches on the toes and soles.

KSHV along with viral G-protein-coupled receptor (vGPCR) actively results in to pathogenesis of KSHV-induced  tumors in the body. Beclin 2 interacts with this KSHV GPCR facilitating endolysosomal degradation of carcinogenic viral protein and inhibiting vGPCR-driven oncogenic signalling.

Therefore, the study showed that Beclin 2 is an unappreciated remarkable host antiviral molecule which efficiently protects against KSHV GPCR induced cancer causing tumors by endolysosomal degradation.

In the study monoallelic loss of Becn 2 in mice accelerated the progression of vGPCR-induced lesions that is similar to the human Kaposi’s sarcoma. This apparently signifies the role of Beclin 2 in inhibiting virus causing tumor.

Dr. Levine stated “These findings deepen understanding of the mechanisms that our immune system uses to protect against cancer and potentially against other serious diseases caused by pathogenic viral proteins“.

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