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Bleeding symptom leads scientists to intracellular trafficker's role in virus propagation
Date:11/14/2013

he viral particle and while virions still form without it, they are noninfectious. According to Botten, even in cases where ERGIC-53 is absent, a person could still make virus particles in his/her blood, but these particles would essentially be duds that cannot harm the infected person. However, these same particles will presumably be seen by the immune system, allowing the person to mount an effective immune response. Therefore targeting ERGIC-53 with an antiviral could result in an immunizing form of antiviral therapy.

"Overall, our findings show that ERGIC-53, which was already an interesting and important host protein due to its normal cargo receptor functions, has a new class of pathogen-derived ligands, namely the GPs encoded by a broad range of highly pathogenic viruses," says Botten, adding that "while ERGIC-53 represents a potential broad-spectrum antiviral target for arenaviruses, coronaviruses, and filoviruses, it may also be required for additional human pathogens, such as the New World hantaviruses, orthomyxoviruses, or retroviruses (e.g., HIV), based upon its conserved interaction with their GPs."

In the future, Botten and his colleagues hope to determine exactly how these viruses harness ERGIC-53 to ensure their reproductive success.

"If we can uncover this common mechanism, it might be possible to engineer a single therapeutic treatment that could be used to treat each of these devastating pathogens," he concludes.


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Contact: Jennifer Nachbur
jennifer.nachbur@uvm.edu
802-656-7875
University of Vermont
Source:Eurekalert

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