Navigation Links
Small molecules may prevent ebola infection
Date:1/19/2011

Ebola, a virus that causes deadly hemorrhagic fever in humans, has no known cure or vaccine. But a new study by University of Illinois at Chicago scientists has uncovered a family of small molecules which appear to bind to the virus's outer protein coat and may inhibit its entry into human cells.

The results are to be published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and are now online.

Previous studies have shown that small molecules can interfere with the Ebola infection process, says Duncan Wardrop, associate professor of chemistry at UIC and corresponding author of the new study. But almost all of these compounds "appear to exert their effects by altering the cells' response to the virus once it's entered the cell -- by which time it's too late," he said.

The new findings demonstrate that it is possible for a small molecule to bind to the virus before it has a chance to enter the cell and thereby prevent infection, he said.

Wardrop collaborated with UIC virologist Lijun Rong, who created a screening system that uses a chimeric HIV-Ebola virus bearing the protein coat of the Ebola virus. The chimera looks like Ebola but isn't life-threatening for scientists to work with.

After screening more than 230 candidate compounds, Wardrop and Rong found two molecules that inhibited cell entry, but only one that demonstrated specificity for the Ebola virus -- plus a bonus.

"We found that our lead compound also inhibits Marburg," Wardrop said, referring to a related virus that, along with Ebola, is one of the deadliest pathogens known. "That was a nice surprise. There's growing evidence the two viruses have the same cell-entry mechanism, and our observations appear to point to this conclusion."

In an effort to find even more potent anti-Ebola agents, Wardrop and graduate student Maria Yermolina synthesized a series of derivatives of the lead molecule -- a member of a family of compounds called isoxazoles -- and found several that displayed increased activity against Ebola infection. Exactly how and where these small molecules bind to the virus's protein coat is now being determined through nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, done by Michael Caffrey, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics.

While it's too early to predict whether the findings will lead to a new treatment for Ebola or Marburg infections, Wardrop said the positive results so far raise hope. The next step would be to see if small-molecule treatments prove effective in animal models.

The UIC scientists also hope their findings will provide further insight into mechanisms the Ebola and Marburg viruses use to enter human cells.

"This knowledge may spur development of new anti-viral agents," Wardrop said.

"From a wider perspective, we're searching for compounds to use as probes to study biological processes. Small molecules which bind to specific proteins and alter their function are invaluable to understanding what these proteins do in living cells," he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Paul Francuch
francuch@uic.edu
312-996-3457
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. MIT neuroscientists explain Proustian effect of small details attached to big memories
2. Deadliest Cancer Getting Smaller Chunk of Research Dollars
3. Small molecule may disarm enemy of cancer-fighting p53
4. Small assist device used in emergency case as twin, heart booster pumps for first time in US
5. Unexpectedly small effects of mutations in bacteria bring new perspectives
6. UCI non-small cell lung cancer study highlights advances in targeted drug therapy
7. Small particles show big promise in beating unpleasant odors
8. Small business success spotlighted by USDA at conference
9. American Chemical Society Webinar focuses on NSFs small business funding programs
10. Health Care Reform Helps Small Businesses Offer Coverage: Report
11. 16.6 million small business employees could benefit from ACA provisions starting this year
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... of the Best Places to Work in the Research Triangle for 2017. , ... nominated, a company had to meet a threshold in employee participation--a percentage that ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Demand generation pioneer True Influence has announced ... The Marketing Tech Conference October 2–4, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, ... representing such thought-leading companies as JP Morgan Chase, GE Digital, and Dun & ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... ... In just a short time since going on sale on Wal-Mart Stores-owned ... trying the product for the first time, and others who had already been using ... Moore, MD, for everyone from athletes at risk from multiple concussions to elderly consumers ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Health & Safety Institute (HSI) ... HAZWOPER 8-, 24- and 40-Hour courses from now until November 30, 2017 to assist ... offering these discounted prices to all businesses and government agencies – whether or not ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Houston, Texas, investment firm ... Friday, September 8, and Monday, September 11, off work and rolled up their sleeves ... before heading to local homes to start the process of rebuilding. , CORDA founder ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/9/2017)... Dealmed Medical Supplies, New York ... supplies, drugs, vaccines, and specialty medical products and services, ... to acquire Vantage Medical Supplies, a major distributor of ... New York . ... medical practices, will operate under the Dealmed name as ...
(Date:9/7/2017)... Caris Life Sciences, a leading innovator ... of precision medicine, today announced results from two ... molecular profiling approach in guiding therapeutic strategies in ... (CGP+) with Caris Molecular Intelligence ® to ... level, leading to more therapeutic options and improved ...
(Date:9/6/2017)... -- Robert G. Szewc, M.D., is recognized by Continental Who,s ... his contributions to the Medical field.      ... practice of Kidney and Hypertension Specialists, which specializes in ... He has worked in this position since 2002, and ... as expertise in kidneys, hypertension, chronic disease and anemia, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: