Beckman Coulter Webinar Presents the Idea that Retroviruses Exploit the Exosomal Machinery to Generate Infectious Viral Particles

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The Webinar will discuss the possibility that retroviruses bud from infected cells by an exosomal pathway, July 2, 2015.

Stephen Gould, PhD - Professor of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University

Exosomes are small secreted vesicles that have a diameter of ~50-200 nm. Exosomes are enriched for a specific subset of host-derived proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates, though they also incorporate most host cell molecules at baseline levels. Various models of exosome biogenesis have been proposed, but the field lacks the robust mechanistic studies that are needed to obtain a molecular understanding of vesicle secretion.    

Beckman Coulter is sponsoring a new educational webinar, “Exosome Biogenesis and the Budding of Proteins and Viruses,” with Stephen Gould, PhD, which will describe a cargo-based approach in which the lab focuses on the cis-acting signals that are necessary and sufficient for the budding of specific proteins. These studies have revealed that exosomal proteins are targeted to sites of vesicle budding by a combination of (1) high-order oligomerization and (2) binding to the plasma membrane. In addition, the work supports the hypothesis that the plasma membrane is a major site of exosome budding.

In support of this research, it is known that HIV and other retroviruses have the same topology, size, and array of host cell molecules as exosomes, raising the possibility that retroviruses bud from infected cells by an exosomal pathway. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that retroviral Gag proteins, their main structural protein, are targeted to sites of exosome budding, bud from cells in association with exosomal cargo proteins, form high-order oligomeric complexes that bind the plasma membrane, and require plasma membrane binding in order to bud from cells. Modeling HIV budding as an exosomal process has led to new lines of experimentation, new sets of data, and new interpretations of decades-old observations, all of which provide increasing support for the hypothesis that HIV and other retroviruses exploit the exosomal machinery to generate infectious viral particles.

Stephen Gould is a Professor of Biological Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD USA. In 2003 Dr. Gould began his foray into exosome biology and HIV budding by co-authoring ‘The Trojan exosome hypothesis’ with his collaborator Dr. James Hildreth. Dr. Gould’s research has since focused on the molecular mechanisms of intercellular vesicle traffic, retrovirus budding, and the translational applications of these processes. Dr. Gould also serves as President of the American Society for Exosomes and Microvesicles.

The complementary webinar, hosted by LabRoots, will be presented on June 25, 2015, at 8:00am PT, 11:00am ET, 3:00pm GMT.

For full details and free registration, click here.

About Beckman Coulter:
Beckman Coulter Life Sciences’ mission is to improve the health of people around the world. A global leader in research automation, flow cytometry, centrifugation, cellular analysis, genomics products, particle characterization and capillary electrophoresis, they provide sophisticated tools for basic biological research, including: causes of disease; potential new drug development and advancing clinical research. Beckman Coulter Life Sciences delivers the highest quality solutions and customer support — a commitment to excellence that’s evident in everything they do.

About LabRoots:
LabRoots is the leading scientific social networking website and producer of online educational events and webinars, and is a powerful advocate in amplifying global networks and communities, and contributing to the advancement of science through content sharing capabilities and encouraging group interactions.
Founded in 2008, LabRoots emphasizes digital innovation in scientific collaboration and learning. LabRoots has become a primary source for current scientific news, webinars, virtual conferences and more. Join for free and become part of the largest scientific learning community in the world.

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