Researchers solve structure of key Ebola protein

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Research led by Iowa State University scientists has them a step closer to finding a way to counter the Ebola virus.

A team led by Gaya Amarasinghe, an assistant professor in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, has recently solved the structure from a key part of the Ebola protein known as VP35.

VP35 interferes with the natural resistance of host cells against viral infections.

"Usually when viruses infect cells, the host immune system can fight to eventually clear the virus. But with Ebola infections, the ability of the host to mount a defense against the invading virus is lost," said Amarasinghe.

This is because the VP35 protein interferes with the host's innate immune pathways that form the first line of defense against pathogens, he said.

In their research directed toward understanding host-viral interactions, Amarasinghe and his research team used a combination of X-ray crystallography and nucleic magnetic resonance spectroscopy to solve the structure using non-infectious protein samples.

A report describing the findings is published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Now that the structure from a key part of VP35 is available, this information can be used as a template for anti-viral drug discovery.

"The next step is to use this structure to identify and design drugs that potentially bind with VP35," he said.

If a drug that inhibits VP35 function can be discovered, then the Ebola virus could potentially be neutralized.

"Without functional VP35, the Ebola virus cannot replicate so it is noninfectious," said Amarasinghe.

The Ebola virus can cause hemorrhagic fever that is usually fatal. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, outbreaks have caused more than 1,000 deaths, mostly in Central Africa, since it was first recognized in 1976.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Study unveils protein signatures for early detection of endometrial cancer in cervico-vaginal fluid