Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combating the deathly Coronavirus

15.03.2013
Infection Biologists of the German Primate Center have identified host cell factors that activate the dangerous human coronavirus EMC and might be potential targets for therapeutic intervention

Scientists all over the world are on a quest for an antidote since the first patient died from the new coronavirus in summer 2012. Infection Researchers from the German Primate Center have now identified enzymes that activate the virus for infection. The scientists hope that their discovery will contribute to the development of treatment for the life-threatening disease.

The coronavirus 2c EMC/2012 causes severe respiratory disease and renal failure. So far more than half of all patients with laboratory confirmed infection died from the disease. The virus presumably originated in the Arabian Peninsula. Genetic analyses have revealed a close relationship to viruses in bats. However, it is at present unclear if the new coronavirus was transmitted from bats to humans.

Researchers at the DPZ have investigated the host cell entry of the new coronavirus jointly with colleagues from Hannover, Essen, Bonn and San Francisco. The paper by the first authors Stefanie Gierer and Stephanie Bertram was published online ahead of print by the renowned Journal of Virology.

The surface protein („spike“) of the virus attaches to host cells via the newly discovered receptor DPP4 (Raj et al. 2013, Nature) and subsequently the virus enters the cells. The activation of the spike-protein by host cell enzymes, proteases, is a prerequisite to infectious viral entry. The researchers at DPZ have now identified two of these activating proteases, both of which constitute potential targets for intervention. Also, the group demonstrated that a serum derived from an EMC patient can block the spike-mediated entry.

This proves that humans are able to generate blocking (so called “neutralizing”) antibodies against the virus. For their research the team worked with harmless, artificial virus-like particles (“pseudotypes”), which may now be used as a diagnostic tool for identifying such neutralizing antibodies.

“The human coronavirus EMC is a potential threat to public health,” says Stefan Pöhlmann, senior author of the study. “But our research and the research of other groups identified potential targets for intervention and might help to improve our diagnostic tools.“

Original publication:
Stefanie Gierer, Stephanie Bertram, Franziska Kaup, Florian Wrensch, Adeline Heurich, Annika Krämer-Kühl, Kathrin Welsch, Michael Winkler, Benjamin Meyer, Christian Drosten, Ulf Dittmer, Thomas von Hahn, Graham Simmons, Heike Hofmann & Stefan Pöhlmann (2013): The spike-protein of the emerging betacoronavirus EMC uses a novel coronavirus receptor for entry, can be activated by TMPRSS2 and is targeted by neutralizing antibodies. Journal of Virology. Epub ahead of print 6 March 2013. doi:10.1128/JVI.00128-13

Contact

Prof. Dr. Stefan Pöhlmann
Tel: +49 551 3851-150
E-Mail: spoehlmann@dpz.eu
Astrid Slizewski (Stabsstelle Kommunikation)
Tel: +49 551 3851-359
E-Mail: aslizewski@dpz.eu

Printable images are provided by the DPZ’s public relations department or may be downloaded from the photodatabase of our website. In case of publication, please send a copy or a link as reference.

The German Primate Center (DPZ) in Göttingen, Germany, conducts basic research on and with primates in the areas of infectious diseases, neurosciences and organismic biology. In addition, it operates four field stations abroad and is a competence and reference center for primate research. The DPZ is one of the 86 research and infrastructure institutions of the Leibnitz Association in Germany.

Astrid Slizewski | idw
Further information:
http://www.dpz.eu
http://jvi.asm.org/content/early/2013/02/28/JVI.00128-13.abstract?sid=0d94902f-24cc-4dc5-a142-4a888fb4ba9e

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht CWRU researchers find a chemical solution to shrink digital data storage
22.06.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

nachricht Warming temperatures threaten sea turtles
22.06.2017 | Swansea University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

New 3-D display takes the eye fatigue out of virtual reality

22.06.2017 | Information Technology

New technique makes brain scans better

22.06.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>