Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

West Nile's Targets Uncovered

Date:
August 7, 2008
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Screening the entire human genome, scientists have identified several hundred genes that impact West Nile virus infection.

Screening the entire human genome, a team headed by Yale University scientists have identified several hundred genes that impact West Nile virus infection. The findings reported Wednesday online in the journal Nature may give scientists valuable new clues about ways to intervene in a host of deadly viral infections.

Related Articles


"Diseases like West Nile affect millions of people," said Erol Fikrig, professor of medicine and microbial pathogenesis at Yale, an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and senior author of the paper. "We have found a dictionary of genes critical to a viral infection. Using these techniques, this can be done with any virus."

West Nile is transmitted by mosquitoes and has become a significant health threat in many parts of the United States since being introduced into North America in 1999. Symptoms range from mild flu-like symptoms to potentially fatal inflammation of the brain and central nervous system. West Nile is part of the flavivirus family, which includes dengue, yellow fever and tick- borne encephalitis viruses, among others, and causes thousands of deaths annually.

West Nile virus consists of only 10 proteins so it must hijack dozens of cellular processes of the host in order to infect individuals and replicate. To find out exactly which of those processes were involved in an infection, the team from Yale and three other research instituitions used a technique called global RNA interference targeting strategy.

Using tiny snippets of small interfering RNA, scientists are now able to disable individual genes and thereby assess their function. Testing the entire human genome, the team was able to identify 305 individual proteins that can alter viral infection. Many of those proteins appear crucial to the ability of the virus to infect people and reproduce. About 30 percent of the genes involved in West Nile infection also appear to play a role in Dengue fever, the researchers report.

Theoretically, if scientists can find a way to interfere in the virus' ability to use those proteins it might be possible to treat or prevent a variety of different infections. "It might be possible to find a 'pan flavivirus' target," Fikrig said.

The work was funded by the National Institutes of Health and HHMI.

Manoj Krishan, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Fikrig's laboratory, led the experimental aspects of this study. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston contributed to the paper.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "West Nile's Targets Uncovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806140114.htm>.
Yale University. (2008, August 7). West Nile's Targets Uncovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806140114.htm
Yale University. "West Nile's Targets Uncovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806140114.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
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