Navigation Links
Novel strategy stymies SARS et al.
Date:10/28/2011

Broad-spectrum antibiotics, which are active against a whole range of bacterial pathogens, have been on the market for a long time. Comparably versatile drugs to treat viral diseases, on the other hand, have remained elusive. Using a new approach, research teams led by Dr. Albrecht von Brunn of LMU Munich and Professor Christian Drosten from the University of Bonn have identified a compound that inhibits the replication of several different viruses, including the highly aggressive SARS virus that is responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The new method exploits the fact that interactions between certain host proteins and specific viral proteins are essential for viral replication. One of these host proteins is part of a signaling relay in the cell. The broad-spectrum antiviral compound used by the researchers blocks this signal pathway without having a deleterious effect on the host. "We have shown in this study that a broadly based search for new cellular targets can uncover new functional principles that have a demonstrable impact on virus replication," says von Brunn. "We have confirmed that the approach works in cell culture. We now hope that these laboratory results can be translated into clinically effective therapies. At the very least, our high-throughput procedure can be utilized to systematically screen various protein-virus interactions as potential targets for inhibitory compounds." The new study was carried out under the auspices of the SARS Research Network, which is supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). (PloS Pathogens, 27. October 2011)

Broad-spectrum antibiotics that inhibit the growth of various species of bacterial pathogens are well known. Virologists, unfortunately, have no comparably versatile weapons in their armory. Individual drugs that are active against different types of viral pathogens are simply not available. "All of the antiviral agents we have are directed specifically at the virus itself," explains Professor Christian Drosten, Director of the Institute of Virology at Bonn University Hospital. "And since viral pathogens are highly diverse, each of these agents can attack only certain viruses." Moreover, viruses are also highly mutable, making the weaponry they can deploy against us even more powerful. What works against one viral strain may be essentially useless against another.

The SARS virus, a previously unknown pathogen which threatened to cause a worldwide pandemic in 2003, has spurred on the search for new antiviral substances. Only recently, it was shown that not only Chinese, but also European, bats carry the SARS virus. "But in contrast to the situation with bird influenza, one cannot simply kill these free-living animals in order to eradicate the pathogen," says Drosten. "That would have catastrophic ecological consequences and, apart from that, bats are retiring and secretive in their habits." If one wishes to develop drugs against viruses that can "hide" in animal species, one must explore other alternatives.

The research teams assembled by von Brunn and Drosten have now discovered a way to prevent the replication of a whole family of viruses by depriving them of an essential host factor. They first identified host proteins with which SARS viral proteins interact. This strategy led to the finding that a cellular signaling pathway is essential for the replication not only of the SARS virus, but also of a whole set of related viruses that are pathogenic to humans and animals.

"This signal pathway is normally involved in regulating the immune system," says Drosten. "We used a substance that inhibits the function of one of the proteins in the pathway, and found that it suppresses viral replication." In other words, drugs that block this pathway inhibit the replication of many different viruses, and therefore act as broad-spectrum antivirals. This opens a route to the treatment of conditions caused by the SARS virus, but also a whole variety of human coronaviruses, and pathogens that infect the internal organs of chickens, pigs and cats. Inhibition of this pathway does not damage the host, because parallel pathways can compensate for its normal role in the cell.

The successful inhibition of virus replication was not a result of serendipity. The researchers in Munich have developed a technique that allows them to systematically probe different proteins for the ability to interact with defined targets. "In order to replicate in the body of its host, a virus must first gain entry to a suitable cell type by binding to a specific receptor protein on its surface," says von Brunn, who works in the Max von Pettenkofer Institute at LMU Munich. "We have used an automated, high-throughput process to systematically test various protein-virus combinations as potential targets for possible inhibitors. The success of this strategy proves that a broadly based search for cellular targets can uncover new functional principles that have a demonstrable impact on virus replication," says von Brunn.

The investigators have shown in cell cultures that their approach actually works. "However, it will be years before we know whether or not these results can be translated into effective treatments," Drosten says. The study also underlines the importance of research collaborations. Drosten is convinced that "neither group could have done this on its own". The SARS Research Network, which is coordinated by Drosten, brings together virological expertise from six university institutes, two veterinary and four medical, located in Hannover, Gieen, Marburg, Bonn, Munich and St. Gallen (Switzerland). (University of Bonn)


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr. Kathrin Bilgeri
kathrin.bilgeri@lmu.de
49-218-06938
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Novel therapeutic target identified to decrease triglycerides and increase good cholesterol
2. Innovation at Regenstrief: Leveraging novel ideas to improve health care
3. Novel technique reveals both gene number and protein expression simultaneously
4. Novel research set to pinpoint risk of heart attacks and strokes
5. Novel cytokine protects mice from colitis
6. FDA Approves Novel Melanoma Drug
7. St. Michaels North America first to use novel blood-cleaning procedure for kidney transplant
8. Novel DNA sequencer for MDCs systems biology
9. Novel Virus Jumped From Monkeys to Humans, Researchers Find
10. Novel combined therapy extends life, diminishes pain in brain cancer patients
11. Experiment aboard shuttle Atlantis will test novel therapy to build bone during space travel
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Lori G. Cohen and ... will speak at the American Conference Institute’s 21st Drug & Medical Device Litigation ... Lead Sponsor of the conference. , Cohen, who chairs the firm’s Pharmaceutical, Medical Device ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... More than 100 business, civic, community and ... the UNCF Dothan-Wiregrass Mayor’s Luncheon Dec. 9, 2016. This inaugural event, hosted by ... support to UNCF-member institutions, including Miles College, Oakwood University, Tuskegee University, Stillman College ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The annual time frame to change Medicare health and prescription ... December 7th. Currently-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries who are looking to switch from their current plan ... to make changes during this period order for their new policy to go into ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Dr. Raffi Hovsepian, ... included in the 2016 “Guide to America’s Top Plastic Surgeons” for seven consecutive ... of their education, experience, and professional associations. , One the most frequently ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Hawaii (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa in Honolulu, offering ... in the field of pain management. , The demand for supplemental training ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... in the ECG Cables And ECG Leadwires Market owing to ... devices. On the other hand, the Asia-Pacific ... rate during the forecast period. The market players ... plc ( Ireland ), Koninklijke Philips N.V. ( ... ( China ), held major share of the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016 Quantum Radiology,s Mobile Breast Center (QR ... directly to women at the workplace, thereby maximizing convenience ... Delta Air Lines and SunTrust Bank, and community health ... of wellness initiatives. "I think it,s a ... them to have a mammogram without taking a large ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Dec. 2, 2016  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... for 2017 and provide updated financial guidance for 2016 ... a conference call on that day with the investment ... guidance. The conference call will begin at ... can access a live webcast of the conference call ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: