Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Team Part of International Effort to Thwart Viruses

15.05.2008
UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) scientists were part of an international research team that discovered the unique way certain viruses invade healthy cells, opening the door to new therapies that could block those viruses.

Viruses need a point-of-entry to a cell, typically binding to an antigen on the cell surface as a means of gaining access. The team, reporting in the March issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, used a special nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technique to precisely identify the point-of-entry on a healthy cell used by rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), a member of the calicivirus family.

The NMR studies definitively identified the main target of the RHDV virus as L-fucose, a sugar found on antigens on the surface of the target cell.

“We now know the chemical signature of the sugar that RHDV zeroes-in on as it invades a cell,” said N. Rama Krishna, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics and a study co-author. “We can counterattack by designing a drug with the same signature but made even more attractive to the virus, so that the virus binds to the drug instead of binding to the target cell.

... more about:
»Antigen »NMR »RHDV »Target »bind

Krishna says the real significance is that this NMR technique can be used to design anti-viral drugs for similar viruses including other caliciviruses, a family that includes Norwalk and Hepatitis E viruses that cause disease in humans. In fact, an editorial on the study appearing in the April 17th issue of the journal Nature highlighted this work for its impact on the potential development of novel anti-viral drugs.

“This application can be widely used to search for and identify the likely contact points on cell surface antigens that different viruses use as their point-of-entry to the cell,” Krishna said. “By inducing the virus to preferentially bind with a drug that mimics the contact point, we think we can prevent it from infecting a cell.”

Krishna’s laboratory at UAB, one of the most sophisticated in the world in the quantitative use of the special technique called saturation-transfer difference NMR (STD-NMR), collaborated with Thomas Peters and Christoph Rademacher of the University of Luebeck, Monica Palcic of the Carlsberg Laboratory, and Francisco Parra of Instituto Universitario de Biotecnologia de Asturias in identifying the sugar recognized by the RHDV virus.

They placed antigens from the cell bodies in a solution with virus-like particles (VLPs), essentially an inactive virus. The hydrogen signals from the virus were irradiated with radiofrequency pulses. The energy received by the VLPs, called saturation, is passed on to the cell antigens at the binding site. he amount of saturation in those antigens can be measured, thus identifying which particular sugar on the antigens gets “hot”. Those sugars on the antigens, in this case the L-fucose, are the virus target.

“This is a compelling argument for the routine use of the STD-NMR technique in drug design and development in general – it is not limited to anti-virals. Interestingly, the method was originally developed in Germany for screening compound libraries, and is now a popular technique in the pharmaceutical industry for identifying lead compounds” Krishna said

NOTE: The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a separate, independent institution from the University of Alabama, which is located in Tuscaloosa. Please use University of Alabama at Birmingham on first reference and UAB on second reference.

Bob Shepard | newswise
Further information:
http://www.uab.edu

Further reports about: Antigen NMR RHDV Target bind

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>