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

ons 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)


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

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