Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientist Eyeing Enzymes That Could Help Fight Flu

18.11.2011
The influenza virus remains a worldwide threat to humans, causing an average of 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States alone. As health care professionals prepare for another flu season, a University of Missouri scientist is studying how two enzymes could be used to stop the virus in its tracks.

Bumsuk Hahm, PhD, and his colleagues at MU have received a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine how the enzymes influence the immune system’s ability to fight infection. Called sphingosine 1-phosphate lyase (SPL) and sphingosine kinase 1 (SK1), they are among a group of metabolizing enzymes that affect many cellular processes, including cell growth, survival, movement and specialization.

“We know these enzymes influence multiple biological mechanisms and could lead to promising drug candidates, but scientists have never studied how these enzymes could be used to fight influenza,” said Hahm, an assistant professor of surgery, molecular microbiology and immunology. “There are a lot of seasonal flu strains that are resistant to current treatments, including some strains that could cause a global pandemic, so it’s important that we identify and develop new targets for the treatment of influenza.”

In a study published in the Journal of Virology, Hahm’s research revealed that the enzymes affect the immune system’s ability to detect viruses and resist infection. The new NIH grant will allow him to translate his study from cells to mice, an important step toward the development of a new treatment for humans.

“We found that when we alter the enzymes, the SPL enzyme stops the flu virus’ ability to replicate, while the SK1 enzyme helps the virus to replicate,” Hahm said. “If we can specifically activate SPL or inhibit SK1, we can identify a target for drug therapies that will block the spread of the influenza virus.”

In November 2011, the MU School of Medicine presented Hahm with its most prestigious award for scientists, the Dorsett L. Spurgeon Distinguished Medical Research Award. Hahm received his doctorate in molecular virology from Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea and then joined the virology division at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. At Scripps, Dr. Hahm studied viral immunology and viral pathogenesis before joining the MU School of Medicine as a faculty member in 2008.

Laura Gerding | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.health.missouri.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers image atomic structure of important immune regulator
11.12.2018 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Potential seen for tailoring treatment for acute myeloid leukemia
10.12.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

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: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electronic evidence of non-Fermi liquid behaviors in an iron-based superconductor

11.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Topological material switched off and on for the first time

11.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

NIST's antenna evaluation method could help boost 5G network capacity and cut costs

11.12.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>