A Single Enzyme Inhibit Ebola Virus

A single enzyme. That is all of the researchers behind a new study need to control to keep the feared Ebola infection from spreading researchers. Since with the enzyme, they also take away the virus’ capacity to copy itself and therefore produce more virus particles and more infection.

In the scientific journal Molecular Cell, the study has been published and was led by researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Phillips Universität Marburg in Germany.

Jakob Nilsson from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research says, ‘At the point when the Ebola virus enters the human cell, its only purpose is to copy itself, fast. To start with it must copy all of its proteins, at that point its genetic material.

But, by inhibiting a particular enzyme we rob the Ebola virus of its ability to copy itself. And that may potentially keep an Ebola infection from spreading’.

A few years ago the Ebola virus ravaged West Africa, where a huge number of individuals died the extremely infectious Ebola infection. When you are infected, everything you can do is to hope that your own immune system can able to kill the infection.

Since there is presently no available treatment. In any case, the researchers behind the new study have discovered what is known as another host factor for Ebola virus.

It can be described as a small part of the host’s – for instance the human body’s – own cells, which the Ebola virus uses to copy itself and produce more infection. The infection uses the host factor enzyme PP2A-B56 to begin producing proteins.

So if the scientists turn off PP2A-B56, the virus’ ability to copy itself and produce more infection is never ‘switched on’.

Jakob Nilsson says, ‘when we inhibit the PP2A-B56 enzyme, we remove the first connection in a long procedure, which closes with Ebola spreading. Also, we can tell that it works. The Ebola infection in cell cultures where we have inhibited the PP2A-B56 enzyme is 10 times smaller following 24 hours compared with infections where we have not inhibited this enzyme’.

But since the researchers have so far focussed on cell cultures, there is still work to be done before their outcomes can be utilized to treat individuals infected with Ebola. At first, the specialists would like to have the ability to test it on animals and, in the long term, develop a medication that inhibits the relevant enzyme.

The new discovery potential may turn out working on another virus as well, because that the structure of Ebola virus is similar the same as the other so-called filoviruses, Lloviu virus and Marburg virus. However, if the similar mechanisms apply to them too still should be uncovered.


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