Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCI study points to new means of overcoming antiviral resistance in influenza

13.07.2011
Findings could aid development of drugs exploiting flu protein ‘pockets’

UC Irvine researchers have found a new approach to the creation of customized therapies for virulent flu strains that resist current antiviral drugs.

Using powerful computer simulations, UCI’s Rommie Amaro and Robin Bush created a method to predict how pocket structures on the surface of influenza proteins promoting viral replication can be identified as these proteins evolve, allowing for possible pharmaceutical exploitation.

“Our results can influence the development of new drugs taking advantage of this unique feature,” said Amaro, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences and computer science. The study appears online in Nature Communications.

The search for effective flu drugs has always been hampered by the influenza virus itself, which mutates from strain to strain, making it difficult to target with a specific pharmaceutical approach.

The most common clinical flu treatments are broad-based and only partially effective. They work by interrupting the action of an enzyme protein in the virus called neuraminidase, which plays a critical role in viral replication.

In 2006, scientists discovered that avian influenza neuraminidase exhibited a distinctive, pocket-shaped feature in the area pinpointed by clinically used drugs. They named it the 150-cavity.

Amaro and Bush, associate professor of ecology & evolutionary biology, conducted research at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the National Institute for Computational Sciences to learn the conditions under which the pockets form.

They created molecular simulations of flu proteins to predict how these dynamic structures move and change and where and when the 150-cavity pockets will appear on the protein surface. This sequence analysis method could be utilized on evolving flu strains, providing vital information for drug design, Amaro said.

She added: “Having additional antivirals in our treatment arsenal would be advantageous and potentially critical if a highly virulent strain — for example, H5N1 — evolved to undergo rapid transmission among humans or if the already highly transmissible H1N1 pandemic virus was to develop resistance to existing antiviral drugs.”

Robert Swift and Lane Votapka of UCI and Wilfred Li and Ross Walker of UC San Diego contributed to the study, which received support from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.

Tom Vasich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uci.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht FAU researchers demonstrate that an oxygen sensor in the body reduces inflammation
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>