Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How to stop SARS viruses from reproducing

29.06.2006
In times of the “bird flu” SARS seems to be no threat anymore. This notion is deceptive. Experts assume that viruses causing the severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS, or other related corona viruses, could re-emerge at any time and might pose a global public-health threat.

From November 2002 to June 2003, 8,500 patients were infected with an at that time unknown pathogen originating in southern China; 800 humans died. Then, the epidemic was controlled and it’s cause detected. The pathogen was a novel corona virus. Such viruses are extremely alterable.


The bright spot surrounded by a corona looks harmless, but it is a deadly pathogen: A corona virus causing SARS. The virus was first identified by the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg. Picture by Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Now, researchers of the “Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie” (FMP) in Berlin have synthesized substances that target a vital enzyme of the SARS virus, namely it’s main protease. “We were systematically looking for molecules to prevent the corona virus from reproducing itself”, says Prof. Jörg Rademann. He heads the group “Medical Chemistry” at the FMP. Rademann adds: “We hope that our research can help to produce suitable drugs against such viruses in a short time, especially in the case of a new epidemic.”

The main protease proved to be a good starting-point for the researchers: The group of Prof. Rolf Hilgenfeld at the University of Lübeck provided the protein and solved its structure. The viral enzyme cuts long protein molecules manufactured by the virus in the host cell into small pieces. The main protease is essential for the reproduction of all corona viruses and it has an almost identical structure in all of these pathogens. Thus, once a substance that attacks the main protease is found, scientists would have a wide range of possibilities to fight different corona viruses.

Rademann and his team, together with colleagues, have synthesized for the first time molecules that attach themselves to the main protease without being chemically reactive. Most importantly, this process is reversible, thus minimizing side-effects of potential drugs. The researchers presented a collection of substances that resemble the natural substrate of the main protease. Even if it is still a long way from such a collection to suitable drugs, the newly synthesized peptide aldehydes mark an important step towards a therapy for SARS. The next goal is to identify the most effective peptide aldehydes out of the collection and then to further optimize the substance. “If we are successful, the next outbreak of SARS will pose a much smaller threat to public-health and we will not be helpless”, says Rademann.

Josef Zens | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fv-berlin.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells
22.02.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>