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 A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>