HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Scientists Discover How Influenza Virus Becomes More Deadly

Scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have discovered why some influenza viruses are uncommonly deadly.

In a paper published in the Aug. 18 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, they describe an unusual molecular mechanism that amplifies the disease-causing power of influenza A virus. This mechanism could be a new marker for scientists to examine when attempting to predict the potential for a newly emergent influenza A virus to cause a pandemic. Though still to be proved, their discovery may explain the longtime mystery of how the virus that caused the 1918 influenza pandemic caused more than 20 million deaths worldwide.

"Their findings point us in a direction to better understand the pathology of these more virulent influenza viruses," notes Dominick Iacuzio, Ph.D., program officer for influenza and related viral respiratory diseases at NIAID.

Influenza A viruses possess two surface proteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). To become infectious, the HA molecule must first be cut into two subunits that help the virus attach to human cells. Normally, influenza viruses remain confined to the respiratory tract because the protease enzymes that cleave HA are common in the lungs and trachea but not in other tissues.

Yoshihiro Kawaoka, D.V.M., Ph.D., and Hideo Goto, D.V.M., Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison, have discovered that this human influenza A virus is more virulent because it employs a more ubiquitous enzyme, plasmin, to help chop HA in two.

The scientists studied a virus descended from the strain that caused the 1918 pandemic and adapted to grow in mice. Through their experiments, they found that its NA molecule has two distinct structural features that enable it to bind and trap plasminogen, a precursor to plasmin, and thereby accelerate HA cleavage and promote widespread infection of cells. '"/>

Contact: Laurie K. Doepel
ldoepel@nih.gov
(301) 402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
18-Aug-1998


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
2. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
3. Scientists find nanowires capable of detecting individual viruses
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
8. Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
9. Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden gorilla disappearance
10. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
11. Scientists visualise cellular handmaiden that restores shape to proteins

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/1/2020)... ... May 01, 2020 , ... More than 600 people ... Center’s High-Risk Cancer Program, which is led by two genetic counselors. , My ... announced it is teaming up with UConn’s High Rick Program to ensure that UConn’s ...
(Date:4/26/2020)... , ... April 23, 2020 , ... ... in computer miniaturization, backed by FII Tech Growth managed by Fondo Italiano d’Investimento ... the biomedical market, for the development of Respira, a new non-invasive pulmonary ventilator ...
(Date:4/22/2020)... ... April 21, 2020 , ... USDM Life Sciences ... compliance, announces a new managed service to improve quality management for regulated companies, ... and USDM Life Sciences (USDM) – Unify Compliance Cloud is a suite of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/22/2020)... ... April 21, 2020 , ... Aniara Diagnostica is ... FXIII. , Aniara Diagnostica, a multi-national distributor of diagnostic and research agents, as ... for product quality and cost-efficient delivery. , For Research Use Only. ...
(Date:4/18/2020)... , ... April 17, 2020 , ... ... Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to support the expansion of ... funding from the NSF, which conducts a rigorous merit-based review process, adds ...
(Date:4/7/2020)... ... April 06, 2020 , ... Red Nucleus, a ... industry, has announced the release of at-home virtual learning resources for all client ... health and safety of our employees as we continue to implement measures to ...
(Date:4/1/2020)... AUSTIN, Texas (PRWEB) , ... March 30, 2020 ... ... MD (APMD) and telehealth developer Reliant Immune Diagnostics (RID), formed earlier this year ... the COVID-19 pandemic by creating in-home tests for COVID-19. Company officials are currently?awaiting ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: