Yan Zhou and her team have discovered how a crucial pathway that supports the influenza A virus's ability to reproduce itself is activated, a finding that could pave the way for new drugs and vaccines.
The paper will appear in the January 2007 issue of the Journal of General Virology and recently has been given advance on-line publication.
"The work we are doing will be applicable to all influenza viruses, including influenza A virus subtype H5N1," said VIDO Director Lorne Babiuk.
Zhou says that although years of research remain to be done, this work provides novel insights for developing live vaccines and antiviral drugs for influenza epidemics and pandemics. A provisional patent has been filed on the findings.
"Given the health, economic and social consequences of influenza epidemics, the work of Dr. Zhou and her team demonstrates the importance of building influenza research capacity in Canada," said Dr. Bhagirath Singh, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity.
"Their research findings may help to develop new influenza treatments and prevent the disease, as well as add to global pandemic preparedness research."
To survive, the influenza virus hijacks the host animal or human's cellular machinery and forces it to make more copies of the virus. The researchers believe that the cellular events involved in this process are an excellent target for interventions against influenza.
The study revealed novel characteristics of a protein, called NS1, that activates a key pathway in the virus's reproduction. This information will help the researchers learn how to create harmless influenza viruses that can be used as live vaccines.
The pathway can be thought of as an assembly line with a switch to turn it on, says Zhou. "If the switch is turned on, the pathway enables efficient production of more viruses. But only the NS1 protein can turn on the switch."
The researchers are investigating genes and proteins of the influenza viruses of swine, horses and birds to see how they activate downstream cellular signalling pathways. To do this, they are using reverse genetics technology, where researchers begin with a gene and figure out its function.
These studies will allow the team to identify the genes that enable the virus to cause disease, laying the groundwork for antiviral drug development.
"Increasingly, new diseases involve both humans and animals," said Andrew Potter,VIDO's Associate Director (Research). "VIDO's background in veterinary research means that when diseases like avian influenza develop, we have the resources to begin studying the disease fairly quickly."
Marie-France Poirier | EurekAlert!
Seeing on the Quick: New Insights into Active Vision in the Brain
15.08.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
New Approach to Treating Chronic Itch
15.08.2018 | Universität Zürich
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy