Navigation Links
Oklahoma State University researchers make breakthrough against poxviruses
Date:1/23/2009

Stillwater, Okla. Smallpox has a nasty history throughout the world. Caused by poxviruses, smallpox is one of the few disease-causing agents against which the human body's immune system is ineffective in its defense.

A major breakthrough by Junpeng Deng, a structural biologist in the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (DASNR) at Oklahoma State University, and his first-year Ph.D. student, Brian Krumm, may be the first step towards a pharmaceutical medication for smallpox and the emerging human monkeypox.

The human immune system is rendered helpless against poxviruses partly because the viruses block a human immune molecule, interleukin-18 (IL-18), from sending out a signal to the immune system. The body acts as if everything is fine and the deadly disease takes over.

Deng and Krumm joined an ongoing project midway through 2007 and Krumm found what he was looking for in December 2008. They solved a three-dimensional crystal structure of a poxvirus protein in the act of disarming the IL-18.

"We capped a lot of others' research. This is additional information provided," said Krumm, who is credited as the major contributor to the research. "We also show many things through the structure that can't be revealed through traditional molecular biology and immunology."

The study is published in the Dec. 22 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

"We know now how the proteins communicate with each other," Deng said. "In the future, we can design a drug to stop the poxvirus from blocking the IL-18 protein."

As there is currently no medication for poxvirus-caused diseases, this research could aid national and international security efforts against potential poxvirus use as bioterrorism.

Deng called the finding an example of "killing two birds with one stone."

"At this time we only have very limited medication to treat autoimmune diseases," he said.

For example, rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most prevalent autoimmune diseases in which IL-18 is too active, leading to the body attacking its own cells. Deng said seeing how IL-18 interacts with the poxviruses will help with the development of effective inhibitors against overreaction.

"There are still a lot of questions to be answered. This is just the beginning," Deng said. "This opened up a new area to explore: How we design medication for autoimmune diseases. We want to provide more and more structural insights."

Deng and Krumm will continue to do research in the lab created two years ago in November 2006, when Deng joined OSU with funding provided by a start-up fund from DASNR.

"Junpeng is a relatively new assistant professor at OSU and has already demonstrated some excellent work," said Gary Thompson, head of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology. "I'm really impressed with not only Junpeng, but also the quality of work from his Ph.D. students."

Deng and Krumm did their research in the lab at OSU, but recognize the help they had from other researchers.

"Credit also goes to Yan Xiang and Xiangzhi Meng, our collaborators at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio," Deng said of the multi-institutional effort. "I believe our excellent collaboration will bring more success in the future."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sean Hubbard
sean.hubbard@okstate.edu
405-744-4490
Oklahoma State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Inside out Applesauce Fueling Oklahomas Title Quest
2. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma Announces Autism Benefits
3. Oklahoma Parents Can Prevent Holiday Tragedies with Safe Toys and Celebrations
4. Second Annual Eye Ball Fights Juvenile Diabetes, Says Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology
5. The Most Ordinary Things Can Cause the Most Extraordinary Eye Injuries, Says the Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology
6. Grubb & Ellis Healthcare REIT Acquires Oklahoma City Medical Portfolio
7. DNC: Bush-McCain Alert - President Touts Bush-McCain Health Care Agenda in Oklahoma
8. Oklahoma Students Win Be Smart-Dont Start! Contest
9. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma Launches an Integrated Medical-Dental Health Program
10. LCA-Vision Announces the Opening of its 75th LasikPlus(R) Vision Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma
11. State Leaders Recognize Oklahomas Improvement in Immunization Rankings
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... While it’s often important to take certain medications during the night, finding ... identified a solution. , She developed a prototype for MOTION LIGHT-UP PILL BOX to ... the need to turn on a light when taking medication during the night, allowing ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health and Nutrition ... the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing CBD market ... can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end users. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Shelton, CT (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and long-term care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of ... Department, Shelton Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought together some of ... their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event was livestreamed with ... 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here . , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a segment ... of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS Member ... with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... Sept. 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ... conference call and webcast on Friday, November 3, 2017, ... and ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 ... company,s 2017 financial performance and guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom ... to enhance operational performance, and long-range financial outlook through ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader ... and immune-engineering today announced the launch of EpiVax ... of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided ... access to enabling technologies to the new precision ... lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ., a ... today announced that it has been ranked #1 by its ... Book™ Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as ... large hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds and holds ... healthcare technology user survey history. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: