Identification of a protein important for Hepatitis B replication
In a paper in this months PLoS Medicine, researchers from the Genome Institute of Singapore describe the identification of a human cellular protein that has a significant effect on the replication efficiency of Hepatitis B virus. Lisa F. P. Ng and colleagues found the protein–hnRNPK–when they noted an association between one particular sequence in the Hepatitis B virus and high levels of the virus in some infected patients. They discovered that how well the virus replicated is determined by a combination of sequence differences of the virus and how well hnRNPK binds to the viral DNA.
Hepatitis B is a serious global public health problem; more than 350 million people have lifelong infections. Chronically infected people are at high risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, which both kill about 1 million people each year. Current antiviral therapies include lamivudine and alpha-interferon which also suppress viral replication by attacking the virus itself, but the identification of the action of this protein offers new therapeutic opportunities by targeting the human proteins that help the virus to replicate.
All latest news from the category: Life Sciences and Chemistry
Articles and reports from the Life Sciences and chemistry area deal with applied and basic research into modern biology, chemistry and human medicine.
Valuable information can be found on a range of life sciences fields including bacteriology, biochemistry, bionics, bioinformatics, biophysics, biotechnology, genetics, geobotany, human biology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, cellular biology, zoology, bioinorganic chemistry, microchemistry and environmental chemistry.
Creating good friction: Pitt engineers aim to make floors less slippery
Swanson School collaborators Kurt Beschorner and Tevis Jacobs will use a NIOSH award to measure floor-surface topography and create a predictive model of friction. Friction is the resistance to motion…
Synthetic tissue can repair hearts, muscles, and vocal cords
Scientists from McGill University develop new biomaterial for wound repair. Combining knowledge of chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering, scientists from McGill University develop a biomaterial tough enough to repair the…