From Emory Health Blog
Link here http://www.emoryhealthsciblog.com/
A family of troublemakers known as XMRV
September 2, 2010
A long-delayed paper on the connection between chronic fatigue syndrome and XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) finally surfaced last week in PNAS. Astute readers may recall that XMRV has also been linked to prostate cancer.
Detecting XMRV in prostate tissue. A variety of assays (neutralizing antibodies, polymerase chain reaction or fluorescence in situ hybridization) may be used to look for XMRV
The twist from last weeks paper is that the NIH/FDA team, led by Harvey Alter, didnt find viruses all with the same sequence in chronic fatigue patients. Instead, they found a cluster of closely related, but different, viruses. While confusing, these results may explain why tests for the presence of the virus that are based on viral DNA sequences may have generated varying (and conflicting) results. An alternative assay based on antibodies, such as the one urologist John Petros and colleagues at Emory developed, may be useful because it casts a wider net.
Pathologist Hinh Ly has been diving into the XMRV field, with a recent paper in Journal of Virology describing what gateway (receptor) molecule the virus uses to sneak into cells and what kinds of cells in the prostate it can infect.
In a collaboration with Ila Singh at the University of Utah, antiviral drug expert Raymond Schinazi has found that a number of drugs active against HIV also stop XMRV. This offers some hope that if doctors can detect members of the XMRV family, and figure out what theyre up to, they might be able to combat the troublemakers as well.