Navigation Links
Scientists discover influenza's Achilles heel: Antioxidants
Date:10/29/2009

As the nation copes with a shortage of vaccines for H1N1 influenza, a team of Alabama researchers have raised hopes that they have found an Achilles' heel for all strains of the fluantioxidants. In an article appearing in the November 2009 print issue of the FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) they show that antioxidantsthe same substances found in plant-based foodsmight hold the key in preventing the flu virus from wreaking havoc on our lungs.

"The recent outbreak of H1N1 influenza and the rapid spread of this strain across the world highlights the need to better understand how this virus damages the lungs and to find new treatments," said Sadis Matalon, co-author of the study. "Additionally, our research shows that antioxidants may prove beneficial in the treatment of flu."

Matalon and colleagues showed that the flu virus damages our lungs through its "M2 protein," which attacks the cells that line the inner surfaces of our lungs (epithelial cells). Specifically, the M2 protein disrupts lung epithelial cells' ability to remove liquid from inside of our lungs, setting the stage for pneumonia and other lung problems. The researchers made this discovery by conducting three sets of experiments using the M2 protein and the lung protein they damage. First, frog eggs were injected with the lung protein alone to measure its function. Second, researchers injected frog eggs with both the M2 protein and the lung protein and found that the function of the lung protein was significantly decreased. Using molecular biology techniques, scientists isolated the segment of the M2 protein responsible for the damage to the lung protein. Then they demonstrated that without this segment, the protein was unable to cause damage. Third, the full M2 protein (with the "offending" segment intact) and the lung protein were then re-injected into the frog eggs along with drugs known to remove oxidants. This too prevented the M2 protein from causing damage to the lung protein. These experiments were repeated using cells from human lungs with exactly the same results.

"Although vaccines will remain the first line of intervention against the flu for a long time to come, this study opens the door for entirely new treatments geared toward stopping the virus after you're sick," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal, "and as Thanksgiving approaches, this discovery is another reason to drink red wine to your health."


'/>"/>

Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
cmooneyhan@faseb.org
301-634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. EPAs new green parking lot allows scientists to study permeable surfaces that may help the environment
2. Scientists are first to observe the global motions of an enzyme copying DNA
3. Boston University scientists first to see RNA network in live bacterial cells
4. Scientists create NICE solution to pneumonia vaccine testing problems
5. Scientists of the UGR obtain a bioinsecticide to control the Mediterranean fruit fly
6. Queens scientists on international team discover ecologically unique changes in Arctic lake
7. UF scientists discover new explanation for controversial old patient-care technique
8. UF receives $12.2 million to establish national network of scientists
9. Caltech scientists create robot surrogate for blind persons in testing visual prostheses
10. Time in a bottle: Scientists watch evolution unfold
11. Scientists demonstrate link between genetic defect and brain changes in schizophrenia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. ... to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance ... Gino ... we look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , a ... the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ... the linking of an iris image with a face ... represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have ...
(Date:3/29/2017)...  higi, the health IT company that operates the ... , today announced a Series B investment from ... The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to ... population health activities through the collection and workflow integration ... collects and secures data today on behalf of over ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... , ... National executive search firm, Slone Partners, announces the ... biomarker expertise, as VP of Scientific Affairs at Cambridge Biomedical. , Established ... and sample testing services. The organization acts as a leading provider of customized ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... , ... June 19, 2017 , ... ... all service activities supporting EDETEK’s products including training, implementation, support, and client process ... his new role. He has previously held leadership roles for service providers and ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... A colony of healthy honey bees is like ... delivering pollen and nectar containing nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Better nutrition gives ... recent indicators point to a decline in honey bee health. Sick and weakened bees ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... CTNext , Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support, ... LOFT at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. , Nine finalists, all of whom are Connecticut-based ... an opportunity to secure $10,000 awards to help support business growth. The winners included:, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: