Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Team Part of International Effort to Thwart Viruses

15.05.2008
UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) scientists were part of an international research team that discovered the unique way certain viruses invade healthy cells, opening the door to new therapies that could block those viruses.

Viruses need a point-of-entry to a cell, typically binding to an antigen on the cell surface as a means of gaining access. The team, reporting in the March issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, used a special nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technique to precisely identify the point-of-entry on a healthy cell used by rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), a member of the calicivirus family.

The NMR studies definitively identified the main target of the RHDV virus as L-fucose, a sugar found on antigens on the surface of the target cell.

“We now know the chemical signature of the sugar that RHDV zeroes-in on as it invades a cell,” said N. Rama Krishna, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics and a study co-author. “We can counterattack by designing a drug with the same signature but made even more attractive to the virus, so that the virus binds to the drug instead of binding to the target cell.

... more about:
»Antigen »NMR »RHDV »Target »bind

Krishna says the real significance is that this NMR technique can be used to design anti-viral drugs for similar viruses including other caliciviruses, a family that includes Norwalk and Hepatitis E viruses that cause disease in humans. In fact, an editorial on the study appearing in the April 17th issue of the journal Nature highlighted this work for its impact on the potential development of novel anti-viral drugs.

“This application can be widely used to search for and identify the likely contact points on cell surface antigens that different viruses use as their point-of-entry to the cell,” Krishna said. “By inducing the virus to preferentially bind with a drug that mimics the contact point, we think we can prevent it from infecting a cell.”

Krishna’s laboratory at UAB, one of the most sophisticated in the world in the quantitative use of the special technique called saturation-transfer difference NMR (STD-NMR), collaborated with Thomas Peters and Christoph Rademacher of the University of Luebeck, Monica Palcic of the Carlsberg Laboratory, and Francisco Parra of Instituto Universitario de Biotecnologia de Asturias in identifying the sugar recognized by the RHDV virus.

They placed antigens from the cell bodies in a solution with virus-like particles (VLPs), essentially an inactive virus. The hydrogen signals from the virus were irradiated with radiofrequency pulses. The energy received by the VLPs, called saturation, is passed on to the cell antigens at the binding site. he amount of saturation in those antigens can be measured, thus identifying which particular sugar on the antigens gets “hot”. Those sugars on the antigens, in this case the L-fucose, are the virus target.

“This is a compelling argument for the routine use of the STD-NMR technique in drug design and development in general – it is not limited to anti-virals. Interestingly, the method was originally developed in Germany for screening compound libraries, and is now a popular technique in the pharmaceutical industry for identifying lead compounds” Krishna said

NOTE: The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a separate, independent institution from the University of Alabama, which is located in Tuscaloosa. Please use University of Alabama at Birmingham on first reference and UAB on second reference.

Bob Shepard | newswise
Further information:
http://www.uab.edu

Further reports about: Antigen NMR RHDV Target bind

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht "Make two out of one" - Division of Artificial Cells
19.02.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung

nachricht Sweet beaks: What Galapagos finches and marine bacteria have in common
19.02.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für Marine Mikrobiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

"Make two out of one" - Division of Artificial Cells

19.02.2020 | Life Sciences

High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart Receives new Supercomuter "Hawk"

19.02.2020 | Information Technology

A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

19.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>