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Glucose: Potential new target for combating annual seasonal influenza
Date:12/15/2013

Reducing glucose metabolism dials down influenza viral infection in laboratory cell cultures, providing an entirely new approach for combating seasonal flu, according to research that will be presented on Sunday, Dec. 15, at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) annual meeting in New Orleans.

While annual flu shots are based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)'s predictions of the viruses that will be in widest circulation each flu season, the new approach targets one metabolic requirement of all influenza viruses: glucose.

Reducing viruses' glucose supply weakens the microbes' ability to infect host cells, said Amy Adamson, Ph.D., and Hinissan Pascaline Kohio of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Fever, ache, and the other miseries of influenza viral infection afflict 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population each year. While the flue is usually not life-threatening to the majority of its victims, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 demonstrated that flu viruses can evolve into lethal agents that spread worldwide. Because flu viruses change continually through mutation and genetic swaps, the CDC reformulates the flu vaccine each year

Yet to infect cells, the influenza virus is dependent upon the actions of the cell's own proteins, and so another strategy for slowing viral infection would be to target essential viral needs, for example, their dependence on cellular glucose. Dr. Adamson and Kohio showed that influenza A infection can be controlled in laboratory cultures of mammalian cells by altering glucose metabolism.

When the influenza virus initially infects a cell, and the virus is confined in an endocytic vesicle, the viral proteins HA and M2 use the acidic environment inside the vesicle to fuse the viral lipid envelope with that of the vesicle, and then release the viral genome into the cytosol. The acidic pH that mediates these important viral process is established and maintained
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Contact: Cathy Yarbrough
cyarbrough@ascb.org
858-243-1814

John Fleischman
jfleischman@ascb.org

American Society for Cell Biology
Source:Eurekalert


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