Navigation Links
MU scientist eyeing enzymes that could help fight flu

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 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.

Contact: Laura Gerding, APR
University of Missouri School of Medicine

Related biology news :

1. Jefferson scientists deliver toxic genes to effectively kill pancreatic cancer cells
2. Scientist plans to test for blood pressure genes affected by age
3. Scientists identify novel inhibitor of human microRNA
4. Argonne scientists peer into heart of compound that may detect chemical, biological weapons
5. MU scientists go green with gold, distribute environmentally friendly nanoparticles
6. Scientists identify gene that may contribute to improved rice yield
7. Scientists discover why a mothers high-fat diet contributes to obesity in her children
8. MU scientists see how HIV matures into an infection
9. Earth scientists keep an eye on Texas
10. Thinking it through: Scientists call for policy to guide biofuels industry toward sustainability
11. Scientists identify a molecule that coordinates the movement of cells
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
MU scientist eyeing enzymes that could help fight flu
(Date:11/17/2015)... -- Paris , qui s,est ... Paris , qui s,est tenu du 17 ... de l,innovation biométrique, a inventé le premier scanner couplé, ... la même surface de balayage. Jusqu,ici, deux scanners étaient ... empreintes digitales. Désormais, un seul scanner est en mesure ...
(Date:11/12/2015)...  Arxspan has entered into an agreement with ... use of its ArxLab cloud-based suite of biological ... will support the institute,s efforts to electronically manage ... internally and with external collaborators. The ArxLab suite ... Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound and assay registration, ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... 2015 ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition ... Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model ... Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View ... years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new model ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 --> ... report released by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive ... CAGR of 17.5% during the period between 2014 and ... Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and ... testing market to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (the "Company") announced today that the remaining 11,000 ... Common Share Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") ... agreement were exercised on November 23, 2015, which ... Common Shares.  After giving effect to the issuance ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... and the environment are paramount. Insertion points for in-line sensors can represent a ... developed the InTrac 781/784 series of retractable sensor housings , which are ...
Breaking Biology Technology: