Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New way to target viruses could make antiviral drugs more effective

Date:
July 21, 2010
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new way to target viruses which could increase the effectiveness of antiviral drugs. Instead of attacking the virus itself, the method developed at the University of Edinburgh alters the conditions which viruses need to survive and multiply.

Scientists have developed a new way to target viruses which could increase the effectiveness of antiviral drugs.

Instead of attacking the virus itself, the method developed at the University of Edinburgh alters the conditions which viruses need to survive and multiply.

By making the site of infection less hospitable for the virus, the virus becomes less able to mutate and build up resistance to drugs. The researchers were also able to target more than one virus at the same time.

Viruses take up residence in host cells within our body, which produce proteins that enable the virus to multiply and survive.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), analysed molecules known as microRNAs, which regulate how much of these proteins are made.

The scientists were able to manipulate the microRNA levels, which enabled them to control a network of proteins and stop viruses from growing.

Most existing antiviral therapies only work against one virus. However, by adapting the virus host environment the researchers were able to target different types of viruses.

It is hoped that the research could lead to new treatments for patients suffering from a range of infections.

Dr Amy Buck, of the University's Centre for Immunity, Infection & Evolution, said: "A problem with current antiviral therapies, which generally target the virus, is that viruses can mutate to become resistant. Since new viral strains emerge frequently, and many infections are difficult to diagnose and treat, it is important to find new ways of targeting infection. Our hope is that we will be able to use host-directed therapies to supplement the natural immune response and disable viruses by taking away what they need to survive."

Scientists studied the herpes family of viruses, which can also cause cancer with the Epstein-Barr virus, and the Semliki Forest virus, which is mainly spread by mosquitoes.

Both viruses have different characteristics. Viruses from the herpes family replicate inside the nuclei of cells, while the Semliki Forest multiplies outside the nucleus of a cell.

Further research has begun to look at how this method could be used to target influenza.

The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Diwakar Santhakumar, Thorsten Forster, Nouf N. Laqtom, Rennos Fragkoudis, Paul Dickinson, Cei Abreu-Goodger, Sergei A. Manakov, Nila Roy Choudhury, Samantha J. Griffiths, Annaleen Vermeulen, Anton J. Enright, Bernadette Dutia, Alain Kohl, Peter Ghazal, and Amy H. Buck. Combined agonist-antagonist genome-wide functional screening identifies broadly active antiviral microRNAs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1008861107

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "New way to target viruses could make antiviral drugs more effective." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719162649.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2010, July 21). New way to target viruses could make antiviral drugs more effective. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719162649.htm
University of Edinburgh. "New way to target viruses could make antiviral drugs more effective." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719162649.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) 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:
from the past week

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