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:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... and ergoFET force gauges used in physical therapy, occupational therapy and sports medicine ... for resistance cord exercise and therapy, introduces its new microFET Digital Pinch Gauge. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... As part of ... of the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation (MDRTF), has gifted $10,000 to University of ... Colleen’s Dream Foundation President Billy Cundiff. , “We are honored to support a promising ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... LaserShip, a regional parcel carrier that services the eastern U.S., donated and delivered ... order to aid in the Flint water crisis. In 2014, LaserShip acquired Prestige Delivery ... only 15 miles away from Flint. , “We have deep roots in the local ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... InDemand Interpreting ... Healthcare, recently partnered with Heart City Health Center to improve access ... years, Heart City Health Center has provided the Elkhart community with access to ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... category: Best Water Brand. There were three leading bottled water brand owners that topped ... edge services that enhance connectivity and optimize conversion. The premier brand was Tibet 5100, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  The ... Nursing received an in-kind gift from ... a VeinViewer® Vision vein finder for the ... help students as they learn how to ... technology with traditional technique. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced that ... University of Florida (UF) have selected the Visage ... diagnostic viewer of the Emergent/Critical Care Imaging SIMulation ... Wisdom in Diagnostic Imaging Program (WIDI), a multi-faceted ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 Mast Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE ... for sickle cell disease and heart failure, today announced ... units at a price to the public of $0.275 ... the Company,s common stock and one warrant to purchase ... exercise price of $0.42 per share. The warrants are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: