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Newly described 'dragon' protein could be key to bird flu cure
Date:7/15/2008

another molecule or chemical compound that would block the PB1 subunit's access to the PA site, according to Joachimiak. "If we can put a bit in the dragon's mouth, we can slow or even potentially someday stop the spread of avian flu," he said. "Since we are talking about a relatively small protein surface area, finding a way to inhibit RNA replication in H5N1 seems very feasible."

Joachimiak hopes to more precisely identify the types of compounds that could inhibit RNA replication in H5N1 by looking at the atomic-level grooves and pockets within the PA "mouth" region. According to Joachimiak, scientists must gain a more thorough understanding of the geometry of that small region in order to effectively synthesize drugs that could prevent the further spread of bird flu.


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Contact: Steve McGregor
smcgregor@anl.gov
630-252-5580
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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