Navigation Links
Scientists see Norwalk virus' Achilles heel

Using the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, an international team led by University of Calgary researcher Ken Ng has determined the detailed structure of the enzyme the Norwalk virus uses to make copies of its genetic code in order to replicate itself. The information is crucial to developing drugs that could be used to treat outbreaks of Norwalk and other related viruses.

The Norwalk virus uses the enzyme, RNA polymerase, to make new strands of RNA using an existing RNA strand as a template. The copying, which occurs within an area of the enzyme called an active site, can be blockedor inhibited--with a drug molecule shaped to fit the site, like a key in a key hole.

These are the first structures showing the enzyme doing its job interacting with RNA, says Professor Ng. These structures provide ideas of how we could develop new antiviral drugs that block the enzymes activity.

The group includes scientists from the University of Calgary, University of Oviedo (Spain), Penn State University, the University of Kansas and the Canadian Light Source. Their work appears in the March 21 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Outbreaks of Norwalk virus are notorious for the havoc they can cause to people living in close quarters, from cruise ships to hospital wards, often causing severe dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea. The currently untreatable bug belongs to a superfamily of viruses that stores their genetic code as RNA, including polio, hepatitis C, foot-and-mouth disease and even the common cold. The problem with all of these viruses is the lack of effective treatments.

The best doctors can do with Norwalk patients is treat the symptoms. We have the polio vaccine, but many other serious diseases, like hepatitis C, lack effective treatments, explains Professor Ng. This polymerase is closely related in all of these viruses, so an inhibitor drug that works against Norwalk virus could also work in treating hepatitis C.


Contact: Matthew Dalzell
Canadian Light Source, Inc.

Related medicine news :

1. 52 minority scientists receive travel fellowships to Experimental Biology 2008
2. IUPUI scientists report first 3-D view of anti-cancer agent
3. Scientists successfully awaken sleeping stem cells
4. Bonn scientists discover new hemoglobin type
5. Scientists shine new light on inflammatory diseases
6. Scientists identify new leads for treating parasitic worm disease
7. Scientists say tropics are next emerging disease hotspot
8. Novel discovery by Einstein scientists could lead to much-needed kidney failure treatment
9. Scientists Spot Biochemical Sign of Depression
10. Scientists determine structure of brain receptor implicated in epilepsy and PMT
11. Scientists Engineer Protein That Could Battle Strep
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Smiles by ... TMJ Disorder, Bruxism, and moderate facial wrinkling. While many patients are aware of the ... the great success Botox® delivers to those suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... PALO ALTO, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Beddit Smart and Beddit Classic sleep tracking systems. The new app features a more ... to see and understand how well you slept. The SleepScore is created by a ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted by an independent physician, Andrew Gostine, MD, ... the efficacy of its product and its disinfection protocol. This study is taking place ... through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, academic medical center located in Chicago, Illinois. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) learned that the number ... first time since 2011. In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities involving an alcohol impaired ... Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2014. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Md (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Hypertension Association (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for ... of this disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. ("WuXi" or the "Company") ... and technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and ... and the United States ... of shareholders held today, the Company,s shareholders voted in ... previously announced agreement and plan of merger (the "Merger ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... and VANCOUVER, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ESSA ... EPIX ) announced today that the first patient ... of EPI-506 as a treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate ... and Canada.  --> the ... In the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ESSA intends ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Sectra (STO: SECT B) ... into a multi-year agreement to deploy Breast Imaging ... provide the Breast Center a future-proof platform capable of ... SECT B) announces that Breast Center of Acadiana ... Breast Imaging PACS in its two freestanding imaging centers. This ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: