Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Light Shed On SARS

Date:
May 5, 2003
Source:
Louisiana State University Health Science Center
Summary:
Scientists have developed a model of a critical surface protein of the virus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that could pave the way for new effective antiviral drugs to treat it.

New Orleans -- Dr. William Gallaher, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, with collaboration from Dr. Robert Garry, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center, has developed a model of a critical surface protein of the virus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that could pave the way for new effective antiviral drugs to treat it.

Dr. Gallaher, who previously discovered how both the Ebola (1996) and Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (1988) invade cells, and Dr. Garry have arranged for the model to be posted on the website, All of Virology on the WWW, www.virology.net so that scientists around the world working on SARS will have immediate and full access to it.

As a result of worldwide collaboration among hospitals, laboratories, universities and public health officials, the causative agent of SARS has been recently identified as a new strain of human virus in the family of coronaviruses. The protein on the surface of the virus, called the spike glycoprotein, has been identified as the protein responsible for entry of the virus into susceptible cells. Certain regions of this protein have previously been identified as particularly critical to the process of fusion that melds the viral membrane to the cell membrane.

Prior to the SARS outbreak, Drs. Gallaher and Garry began a research project to integrate what was known of the coronavirus spike protein into a model of its overall structure. When the genetic sequence of the SARS coronavirus was announced, they were uniquely positioned to analyze that sequence and develop a model that covers the last 314 amino acids of the spike glycoprotein just before the protein is anchored into the viral envelope. This portion has a high propensity to form a pair of helical fibers that comprise the stalk of the lollipop-like structure of the viral surface spikes.

"Despite a great deal of diversity in their molecular structure, the fusion glycoproteins of the viruses causing SARS, HIV and Ebola are all kissing cousins from the point of view of overall structure and function," said Dr. Gallaher, "so we know quite a bit about the SARS coronavirus. We are designing drugs, such as peptide analogues or peptidomimetics of this structure, that are predicted to have significant antiviral activity." (Peptidomimetics are small molecules that mimic the key features, but are more stable, more easily formulated as well as cheaper and easier to produce than peptides.)

"Our studies over the past twenty years have put us in the position to design predicted inhibitors of the SARS coronavirus in a short time frame," said Dr. Garry.

The research team is currently investigating and testing such peptides as antiviral fusion inhibitors against coronaviruses in a manner that does not pose a biohazard to human beings. They are also investigating and testing current reagents such as human monoclonal antibodies as well as already licensed antiviral drugs that may have efficacy against SARS.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Louisiana State University Health Science Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Louisiana State University Health Science Center. "New Light Shed On SARS." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030505084559.htm>.
Louisiana State University Health Science Center. (2003, May 5). New Light Shed On SARS. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030505084559.htm
Louisiana State University Health Science Center. "New Light Shed On SARS." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030505084559.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A rare, well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth is going on sale at Summers Place Auctions hope the 11.5-foot tall, almost intact specimen will fetch between $245,000 to $409,000. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) A fox attacked a second-grade boy at a Connecticut elementary school Monday. It also attacked two school staff members and a woman and her dog. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Using proteins derived from mussels, engineers at MIT have made a supersticky underwater adhesive. They're now looking to make "living glue." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A white tiger killed a young man who climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo and jumped into the animal's enclosure on Tuesday, a spokesman said. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins