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The challenges of avian influenza virus: Mechanism, epidemiology and control
Date:5/22/2009

us some tantalizing hope for the control of virus infection. Nucleoprotein (NP) is an important structural protein of influenza virus, being the key component of the ribonucleoprotein complex. The structure of NP is revisited by Andy NG, Jia-Huai WANG and Pang-Chui SHAW from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Correlations are made between the sequence conservation and the atomic structure. This provides the basis for identifying structurally and functionally important regions for inhibitor design. Crystal structures of some parts of the polymerase complex, PA alone or PA with part of PB1, have been solved. Zihe RAO, Yingfang LIU and colleagues from Institute of Biophysics, CAS, Tsinghua University and Nankai University, provide an overview of the structure and potential target for the new drug design. For a long time the drug target for influenza viruses was basically limited to two proteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). Hopefully, the basic findings on nucleoprotein and polymerase will lead to some new drug leads.

Clinically the human cases of H5N1 infection manifest some ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) symptoms, similar to SARS infection. Therefore unraveling the molecular pathogenesis mechanism will help save life. Chengyu JIANG, from Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, who has long been involved in the study of molecular pathogenesis of SARS, describes our current understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of H5N1 in human infection and presents their recent work on the clathrin-dependent endocytosis of H5N1 influenza virus.

H5N1 virus research is a scientifically fascinating field and a much-needed field for life-saving. In the future we ought to know why and how H5N1 virus expands its host range. Compared to SARS, H5N1 is more complicated. Is there any chance human beings will be in a position to conquer this devastating virus? The understanding of H5N
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Contact: Li Jiyuan
ljy@scichina.org
86-106-401-5399
Science in China Press
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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