Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mobilizing immune system against viruses: New way found

Date:
May 12, 2014
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
An intricate chain reaction in the body's immune system has been found by researchers who have used the knowledge to develop a new treatment against harmful viruses. Viral pandemics, such as the coronavirus that caused the deadly SARS outbreak in 2002, have caused hundreds of deaths, yet effective anti-viral drugs are rare.

University of British Columbia scientists have uncovered an intricate chain reaction in the body's immune system and have used the knowledge to develop a new treatment against harmful viruses.

Viral pandemics, such as the coronavirus that caused the deadly SARS outbreak in 2002, have caused hundreds of deaths in Canada, yet effective anti-viral drugs are rare.

A key element to this natural immune response is an antiviral protein in the blood called Interferon alpha. Like soldiers, Interferon alpha is quickly deployed by the body to fight viruses and removed just as quickly to restore equilibrium.

As described in the current issue of the journal Nature Medicine, a team led by Overall from UBC's Department of Oral Biological and Medical Sciences and Bruce McManus from UBC's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has discovered that an enzyme called MMP12 serves double-duty in the deployment of the critical antiviral protein: it first enters the infected cell to activate Interferon alpha and then sends it outside the cell membrane to fight viruses. After the job of Interferon alpha is done, MMP12 dissolves the protein during the healing process.

Overall has developed a new antiviral drug that blocks MMP12 from dissolving Interferon alpha outside the cell, giving the immune system an added boost by keeping levels of the protein high in the bloodstream. The drug cannot penetrate cell membranes, making it unable to interfere with the beneficial work inside the cell. The drug has been shown to effectively treat viral infections in mice models and holds promise as a new broad-spectrum antiviral treatment.

"Because the drug isn't virus-strain specific and boosts the body's own immune response to fight infections, it could be effective for even emergent, unknown viruses and eliminate the lag time required to first identify and sequence the virus genetic material before we can treat it," says Overall.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. David J Marchant, Caroline L Bellac, Theo J Moraes, Samuel J Wadsworth, Antoine Dufour, Georgina S Butler, Leanne M Bilawchuk, Reid G Hendry, A Gordon Robertson, Caroline T Cheung, Julie Ng, Lisa Ang, Zongshu Luo, Karl Heilbron, Michael J Norris, Wenming Duan, Taylor Bucyk, Andrei Karpov, Laurent Devel, Dimitris Georgiadis, Richard G Hegele, Honglin Luo, David J Granville, Vincent Dive, Bruce M McManus, Christopher M Overall. A new transcriptional role for matrix metalloproteinase-12 in antiviral immunity. Nature Medicine, 2014; 20 (5): 493 DOI: 10.1038/nm.3508

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Mobilizing immune system against viruses: New way found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512155316.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2014, May 12). Mobilizing immune system against viruses: New way found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512155316.htm
University of British Columbia. "Mobilizing immune system against viruses: New way found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512155316.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 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:
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