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 Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>