Issue Date: April 18, 2011
Peptide Denies Cell Entry To Ebola Virus
A novel approach to fight Ebola virus uses a designed peptide to inhibit the deadly virus’ entry into host cells. Ebola infection causes a rapidly progressing condition with internal and external bleeding and high fever. The disease has a high mortality rate, and there are currently no approved vaccines or therapies. Infection begins when a viral surface glycoprotein catalyzes fusion between the virus’s membrane and the membrane of endosomes in host cells. C-peptides inhibit similar fusion reactions involving viruses such as HIV and SARS, but they have been ineffective against Ebola. Kartik Chandran and Jonathan R. Lai of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and coworkers have now boosted the activity of Ebola C-peptide by conjugating it to an endosome-targeting sequence (J. Biol. Chem., DOI: 10.1074/jbc.m110.207084). They show that the modified peptide has potent in vitro anti-Ebola activity, and they determined its mechanism of action. The approach “is amenable to targeting other viruses whose fusion intermediates are exposed in the endocytic pathway and will provide a useful suite of research tools to probe intermediates in the process of viral entry,” Lai says.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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