This lead compound - which acts by increasing the levels of a human antiviral protein - could potentially be developed into a new drug to combat the flu, a virus that tends to mutate into strains resistant to anti-influenza drugs.
"The virus is 'smart' enough to bypass inhibitors or vaccines sometimes. Therefore, there is a need for alternative strategies. Current drugs act on the virus, but here we are uplifting a host/human antiviral response at the cellular level," said Dr. Beatriz Fontoura, associate professor of cell biology and senior author of the study available online in Nature Chemical Biology.
According to National Institutes of Health, influenza hospitalizes more than 200,000 people in the U.S. each year, with about 36,000 fatalities related to the illness. Worldwide, flu kills about 500,000 people annually.
In the latest cell testing, the compound successfully knocked out three types of influenza as well as a smallpox-related virus and an animal virus. Because of the highly contagious nature of the 1918 flu, those tests took place at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, one of the few places that stores and runs tests on that flu strain.
The compound is among others that the research team is testing that induce an infection-fighting human protein called REDD1. Until this study, researchers had not demonstrated that REDD1 had this important antiviral function.
"We've discovered that REDD1 is a key human barrier for infection," said Dr. Fontoura, "Interestingly, REDD1 inhibits a signaling pathway that regulates cell proliferation and cancer."
The UT Southwestern-led research team tested 200,000 compounds for those that would inhibit flu virus infection. A total of 71 were identified.
Using the two most promising compounds, researchers at UT Southwestern and colleagues at Mount Sinai next will work to strengthen their potencies for further testing. Dr. Fontoura said it can take more than 10 years before successful compounds are developed into drugs.
UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were lead author Miguel Mata and Neal Satterly, both graduate students in Dr. Fontoura's laboratory; Dr. Doug Frantz, former assistant professor of biochemistry; Shuguang Wei, a senior researcher in biochemistry; Dr. Noelle Williams, associate professor of biochemistry; Samuel Pena-Llopis, assistant instructor in developmental biology; Dr. James Brugarolas, assistant professor of internal medicine; Dr. Christian Forst, assistant professor of clinical sciences; Dr. Michael White, professor of cell biology; and Dr. Michael Roth, professor of biochemistry.
The research was supported by nine National Institutes of Health grants and by the Diane and Hal Brierley Distinguished Chair Fund.
Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/infectious to learn more about UT Southwestern's clinical services for infectious diseases and conditions.
This news release is available on our World Wide Web home page at www.utsouthwestern.edu/home/news/index.html
To automatically receive news releases from UT Southwestern via email, subscribe at http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/receivenews
Debbie Bolles | EurekAlert!
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences