Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover structure of key Ebola protein

14.01.2009
Research led by Iowa State University scientists has them a step closer to finding a way to counter the Ebola virus.

A team led by Gaya Amarasinghe, an assistant professor in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, has recently solved the structure from a key part of the Ebola protein known as VP35.

VP35 interferes with the natural resistance of host cells against viral infections.

"Usually when viruses infect cells, the host immune system can fight to eventually clear the virus. But with Ebola infections, the ability of the host to mount a defense against the invading virus is lost," said Amarasinghe.

This is because the VP35 protein interferes with the host's innate immune pathways that form the first line of defense against pathogens, he said.

In their research directed toward understanding host-viral interactions, Amarasinghe and his research team used a combination of X-ray crystallography and nucleic magnetic resonance spectroscopy to solve the structure using non-infectious protein samples.

A report describing the findings is published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Now that the structure from a key part of VP35 is available, this information can be used as a template for anti-viral drug discovery.

"The next step is to use this structure to identify and design drugs that potentially bind with VP35," he said.

If a drug that inhibits VP35 function can be discovered, then the Ebola virus could potentially be neutralized.

"Without functional VP35, the Ebola virus cannot replicate so it is noninfectious," said Amarasinghe.

The Ebola virus can cause hemorrhagic fever that is usually fatal. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, outbreaks have caused more than 1,000 deaths, mostly in Central Africa, since it was first recognized in 1976.

Amarasinghe co-authored this study with Daisy Leung, assistant scientist; Nathaniel Ginder, graduate student; Bruce Fulton, associate scientist; and Richard Honzatko, professor; all from Iowa State's biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology department, together with Christopher Basler, associate professor from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and Jay Nix from the Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.

Work in the Amarasinghe laboratory was funded in part by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.

Gaya Amarasinghe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iastate.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How protein islands form
15.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>