Navigation Links
Could statins be used to fight a deadly viral infection?
Date:2/11/2014

Two Perelman School of Medicine microbiologists may have found a way to use statins, the well-known blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drugs, to fight the hantavirus, a mysterious and lethal microorganism that appeared suddenly in the US southwest over 20 years ago. That first outbreak led to the deaths of more than a dozen people, most of them in their prime. The last reported outbreak happened in Yellowstone Park in 2012.

Only about 30 known human cases of hantavirus are reported in the US each year. The respiratory syndrome caused by a hantavirus infection comes from breathing in small viral particles in the excrement of infected rodents. It starts out with flu-like symptoms that quickly deteriorate into a dangerous form of adult respiratory distress syndrome. It is among the most deadly known human viruses: 30 percent to 40 percent of people who are diagnosed die from hantavirus pulmonary fever.

A PLOS Pathogens paper by Penn microbiologists Paul Bates, PhD, and Kenneth Briley, PhD, published this month reports that four proteins key to cholesterol synthesis and uptake are highjacked by the hantavirus to enter human host cells. To identify host-cell genes needed for viral replication, Bates and Briley first used a less dangerous virus that was engineered to exhibit some characteristics of a member of the hantavirus group found in South America called Andes virus (ANDV). Although the molecular details are still being deciphered, it appears that adequate cellular cholesterol levels are needed to transport the virus into the cell.

This is not the first time that cholesterol-related proteins have been implicated in viral entry and infection but Bates says, "the hantaviruses seem to be exquisitely sensitive to the cellular cholesterol levels."

The four proteins identified by the Penn researchers are part of a protein complex that regulates cholesterol production in the cells of mammals. They found that treating cells that originated from human airways with an experimental drug that targets one of the four proteins made the cells less susceptible to infection. The experimental drug also lowers cholesterol levels in cells, so Bates wondered whether statins could be used to fight a hantavirus infection.

The researchers found that pre-treatment of human airway cells with a generic statin called mevastatin, which lowers cholesterol by a mechanism that does not involve the four proteins they identified, made the human airway cells less susceptible to ANDV infection. They tested both the experimental drug, PF-429242, and mevastatin, and both were effective against hantavirus, as measured by how many cells are infected with and without the drugs.

Bates surmises that statins might be given after a known hantavirus infection, or even prophylactically to exposed individuals.

Although the drug inhibition studies initially used the engineered virus, Bates used ANDV itself in high-containment Biosafety Level (BSL)-3 facilities in the Department of Microbiology at Penn to confirm that the results were true for ANDV as well. The next step is to test cholesterol-lowering drugs in an animal model for ANDV infection, working with collaborators to perform the animal studies in a BSL-4 at a national facility.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Credit card-sized device could analyze biopsy, help diagnose pancreatic cancer in minutes
2. Obesity in men could dictate future colon screenings
3. Could you relationship with your mom increase your childs chances of obesity?
4. Automated system could efficiently identify high-risk osteoporosis patients
5. High-tech whole body scan could improve treatment of bone marrow cancer
6. Certain probiotics could help women lose weight
7. Sports medicine physical of the future could help athletes ESCAPE sudden cardiac death
8. Study could lead to liquid biopsy tests for bladder cancer
9. Prion discovery could help keep deadly brain diseases in check
10. Stem Cells Could Prove Effective in Treating Brittle Bone Disease
11. Cell division discovery could offer fresh insight into cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2017)... Santa Rosa, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2017 , ... With a heatwave currently ... the beach or hanging out at the pool. Being swimsuit ready is easy with laser ... repeat – and repeat again can be a burdensome routine when all you want to ...
(Date:6/24/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... The Pennsylvania Athletic ... Erie Bayfront and Erie Convention Center on June 8-10. The weekend consisted ... quiz bowl, award and scholarship presentations, and professional networking. , On Friday ...
(Date:6/24/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... Doorknobs are for convenience, deadbolts are for security. ... guard dog or having an alarm system installed. But unless there is a working ... Frenkel, owner of TX Premier Locksmith in Killeen, TX says: “In the majority of ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... has earned its ninth consecutive four-star rating from premier online charity evaluator, Charity Navigator, ... in the top 1% of all charities reviewed by Charity Navigator and earns ANRF ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... ... The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) announced its support for the ... Col. Thomas G. Bowman. , Bowman currently serves as the staff director for the ... issues and challenges veterans face with the VA. Following a 30-year career of service ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/13/2017)... WARSAW, Ind. , June 13, 2017 Zimmer ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that the U.S. Food and ... Letter dated June 3, 2015 relating to its ... "The successful clearance of ... China manufacturing facility is a measure of the ...
(Date:6/9/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... diabetes. In a further effort to help spread lessons ... this condition, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and Eli ... come together for the second phase of the Bringing ... (BRIDGES 2), reaffirming their commitment to helping people with ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... June 7, 2017  Novavax, Inc., (Nasdaq: NVAX ... Phase 2 trials of its RSV F protein recombinant nanoparticle ... age have been published in the journal Vaccine ... shared in prior scientific conferences). The Company previously announced ... Novavax is developing the RSV F Vaccine with the goal ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: