A multi-institutional study reports an effective treatment approach to inhibit and keep latent viruses like herpes simplex from reactivating and causing disease. The work, whose lead author is the late James Hill, PhD, LSU Health New Orleans Professor and Director of Pharmacology and Infectious Disease at the LSU Eye Center, is published in the December 3, 2014, issue of Science Translational Medicine.
The research team, led by Thomas M. Kristie, PhD, Chief of the Molecular Genetics Section in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Laboratory of Viral Diseases, and also included Timothy Foster, PhD, LSU Health New Orleans Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Parasitology, studied herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in several animal models.
They found that an existing drug, tranylcypromine (TCP), blocked a protein called LSD1, which plays a major role in the initiation of herpes simplex virus infection. Current treatments require active viral replication and target late stages of infection, which has led to the development of drug resistance. This study took a different approach - targeting a drug to a protein that controls how genes are turned on and off, early in the viral replication process.
This "epigenetic" approach not only reduced symptoms, but unlike existing treatments, also reduced shedding (the release of virus particles which can transmit the virus even in the absence of symptoms) and forced the virus to remain in a latent stage, preventing its reactivation. Results indicate that even when a virus is not active, drugs modulating epigenetic changes can still treat the infection. Researchers have been pursuing epigenetic-based therapies for cancer, and this study demonstrates its potential as effective antiviral therapy, too.
A high percentage of the human population is infected with the herpes simplex virus and carries the virus in a latent state. After the initial infection, HSV typically goes dormant in cells where it remains. It can then reactivate with a recurrence of symptoms. Even when latent, asymptomatic shedding of the virus continues its transmission.
Neonatal HSV infections can result in death or developmental-neurological issues. HSV eye infections and recurrences are the leading viral cause of infectious blindness or the need for corneal transplants. In addition, along with other herpesviruses, HSV is a complicating factor in immunosuppressed individuals and is a cofactor in HIV transmission.
Although he died before the study was published, LSU Health New Orleans professor Dr. James M. Hill participated in the research. "Dr. Hill was a distinguished and respected herpesvirologist/animal model scientist who passed away approximately a year ago," notes Dr. Foster. "He is lead author on this manuscript due to both his contributions to the work and out of honor and respect for his contributions to the field and all of us involved."
In addition to researchers from the National Institutes of Health and LSU Health New Orleans, scientists from the Food and Drug Administration, Harvard Medical School, Cincinnati Children's
Hospital Medical Center and the University of Alabama Birmingham also participated. The research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases, National Eye Institute, Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Investigator Award, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, the Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Intramural Funding.
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region.
In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit http://www.lsuhsc.edu , http://www.twitter.com/LSUHealthNO , or http://www.facebook.com/LSUHSC .
Leslie Capo | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences