“Supplemental POPG could be an important, inexpensive and novel approach for the prevention and treatment of influenza and other respiratory virus infections,” said Dennis Voelker, PhD, Professor of Medicine, and senior author in the report, published online in the American journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.
Influenza infects millions of people across the globe, killing 500,000 each year. Vaccines are highly effective, but must be reformulated each year to counter new viral strains. Two classes of drug are currently available to treat established influenza infections, although widespread resistance has developed against one class and is developing against the other.
Several proteins that inhibit viral activity have been identified in the fluid lining the lungs. Until recently, however, the antiviral role of POPG (palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylglycerol) has been unknown. Previous research by Dr. Voelker, Mari Numata, MD, PhD, and their colleagues demonstrated that POPG reduces inflammation in the lung and prevents infection by respiratory syncytial virus.
In mice, POPG also suppressed viral infection and replication, and markedly reduced the inflammatory response to the virus. There were no observable deleterious effects of POPG in animal behavior or histopathology.
“Lipids such as POPG, offer potential advantages over antiviral proteins, because they are less likely to elicit unwanted immune responses, are more chemically stable and less expensive to manufacture than proteins,” said Dr. Numata, an instructor at National Jewish Health, and lead author on both the RSV and influenza papers. “Because POPG is effective against at least two different viruses, it also seems likely that a single mutation, which can make influenza vaccines and current drugs ineffective, is unlikely to have the same effect on POPG’s action.”
The researchers showed that POPG works by binding strongly to viral particles, which prevents attachment and infection of cells. This means that POPG works best if given before an infection occurs.
It has potential, however, to work after an infection has begun by inhibiting spread of the virus to uninfected cells. The success of POPG treatment after a virus infection has been established depends on keeping the lipid levels high for an extended period. At present it is difficult to maintain high levels of POPG in mice because of their rapid metabolisms and rapid respiratory rate.
“We believe POPG may prove effective both before and after an infection has occurred,” said Dr. Voelker. “Our initial results suggest that it may be possible to maintain therapeutic levels in the body with a reasonable dosing scheme, and we are investigating that now.”
William Allstetter | EurekAlert!
How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences