Drug design expert sets his group's sights on SARS

Three days after the genome for the virus that causes SARS was released, biologists at The Johns Hopkins University identified a protein made by the virus that may provide a good target for drug development. Work is currently under way to produce the protein in recombinant form in sufficient amounts for drug design studies to begin.

The researchers found a protease, a protein essential to viral reproduction, encoded in the genome of the SARS virus, one of a class of viruses known as coronaviruses. Proteases usually act as a kind of scissors, cutting viral proteins into their active forms and enabling new viral particles to form and infect other cells. Several existing HIV treatments and other HIV treatments in development work by inhibiting the activity of HIV proteases.

"Not all viral proteases are the same. They have different structures and mechanisms of action," cautions Ernesto Freire, Henry Walters Professor of Biology in the university's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "It is necessary to characterize very precisely the SARS-associated coronavirus protease to validate its value as a drug development target."

"This basic characterization is necessary because the SARS-associated coronavirus protease belongs to a different family of proteases than the [proteases] from HIV, hepatitis C or herpes viruses, which have been vigorously studied and validated as targets for drug development," Freire notes.

Freire is delighted that he and other scientists are already homing in on potential SARS vulnerabilities a mere six months after the disease first appeared in humans in the Guangdong province of China.

"It's been like a great detective novel, this race to find and stop the culprit behind this new disease," Freire says. "It's amazing how quickly we've made progress, from no one working on it two to three months ago, to having the bug identified and having its genome sequenced. This is the first epidemic of the 21st century,

Contact: Michael Purdy
Johns Hopkins University

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Anthrax enzyme images reveal secrets of antibiotic resistance, suggest new drug design
2. AIBS tapped to coordinate design of ecological observatories
3. Newly designed nanoparticle quantum dots simultaneously target and image prostate tumors in mice
4. Leading scientists design new framework for biodiversity conservation
5. National Parkinson Foundation designates UNC as Center of Excellence
6. New designed paclitaxel analog kills more cancer cells than natural product
7. Mimicking humpback whale flippers may improve airplane wing design
8. Knock out rose receives Texas superstar and earthkind designation
9. Frog skin and supercomputers lead Penn chemists to designing better bacteria killers
10. Rice bioengineer wins international design contest
11. Intelligent design: The new big tent for evolutions critics

Post Your Comments:

(Date:8/5/2020)... ... , ... Regenative Labs has received approval from the Centers for Medicare & ... first Wharton’s jelly allografts to be assigned a Q code and be approved for ... Wharton’s jelly allograft product to be recognized as a 361 HCT/P by CMS regulated ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... A study has been published ... Neoasis™ active noise control device to attenuate typical noises in a simulated neonatal ... the alarm sounds from patient monitors, ventilators and other bedside devices that would ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio Inc. http://www.altrubio.com ... a biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD), at European ... J Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this single-arm, open-label Phase ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/12/2020)... FARMS, Mich. (PRWEB) , ... August 12, 2020 ... ... Consulting Group, Inc. (EMMA International), a global leader in FDA compliance consulting ... of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 03, 2020 , ... ... collection, today announced Jim Corrigan, President and CEO has been named one of ... broad cross-section of industry sectors, PharmaVoice 100 honorees are selected based on how ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... R3 Stem Cell International is ... $3950. With 50 million stem cells total, patients may choose which extremities they would ... for arthritic joints (BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016). At R3 International, umbilical cord tissue is ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... transmitter systems that can be configured to drive Klystrons, TWTs, IOTs, and magnetrons. ... drive one or two switches in a push-pull configuration; yielding fast fall time ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: