Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Structure Of Critical Protein From Ebola Virus Determined

Date:
July 11, 2008
Source:
Scripps Research Institute
Summary:
Scientists have determined the structure of a critical protein from the ebola virus, which, though rare, is one of the deadliest viruses on the planet killing between 50 and 90 percent of those infected.

Detailed in the journal Nature, the research reveals the shape of the Ebola virus spike protein, which is necessary for viral entry into human cells, bound to an immune system antibody acting to neutralize the virus. The structure provides a major step forward in understanding how the deadly virus works, and may be useful in the development of potential Ebola virus vaccines, or treatments for those infected.

Related Articles


"Much about Ebola virus is still a mystery," says Erica Ollmann Saphire, the Scripps Research scientist who led the five-year effort. "However, this structure now reveals how this critical piece of the virus is assembled and, importantly, identifies vulnerable sites that we can exploit."

There is currently no cure for Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The virus is spread when people come into contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is already infected. Most ultimately die from a combination of dehydration, massive bleeding, and shock. The best treatment consists of administering fluids and taking protective measures to ensure containment, like isolating the patient and washing sheets with bleach.

The breakthrough described in the Nature article, though, provides hope that one day modern medicine will have more to offer.

The structure of the antibody together with the viral glycoprotein helps reveal the mechanisms by which the molecules assemble on the viral surface and helps explain how the pathogen evades and exploits the human immune system. The structure also provides a guide for the design of drugs and vaccines to block this protein, potentially preventing disease and death.

The new research was made possible by an antibody isolated by Dennis Burton, a Scripps Research professor and one of the study's coauthors. The antibody--shown bound to the Ebola virus spike protein in the current research--was derived from bone marrow of one of the few survivors of the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Kikwit, a city in the southwestern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Kikwit outbreak was particularly deadly, with a higher than 90 percent mortality rate for those infected.

In addition to its importance for Ebola, the new research has broader implications for the study of viruses in general.

"Structures of the native, oligomeric forms of viral glycoproteins as they exist on the viral surface are exceedingly difficult to achieve and thus exceedingly rare," notes Ollmann Saphire. "This structure now provides templates by which researchers studying other viruses could try to understand how their virus's surface protein is assembled and neutralized by an antibody."

Support for the research was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health, a Career Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and a fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Scripps Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ollmann Saphire, Jeffrey E. Lee, Marnie L. Fusco, Ann J. Hessell, Wendelien B. Oswald, and Dennis R. Burton. Structure of the trimeric, prefusion Ebola virus glycoprotein in complex with a neutralizing antibody from a human survivor. Nature, July 9, 2008

Cite This Page:

Scripps Research Institute. "Structure Of Critical Protein From Ebola Virus Determined." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080709155309.htm>.
Scripps Research Institute. (2008, July 11). Structure Of Critical Protein From Ebola Virus Determined. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080709155309.htm
Scripps Research Institute. "Structure Of Critical Protein From Ebola Virus Determined." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080709155309.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Going Ape: Sierra Leone Chimpanzees Hail Ebola Retreat

Going Ape: Sierra Leone Chimpanzees Hail Ebola Retreat

AFP (Apr. 21, 2015) As money runs out at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone, around 85 chimps are facing homelessness. The centre closed when the Ebola epidemic was ravaging the country but now that closure is beginning to look permanent. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blue Bell Recalls All Products

Blue Bell Recalls All Products

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) Blue Bell Creameries voluntary recalled for all of its products after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria. Blue Bell&apos;s President and CEO issued a video statement. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
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