Scripps Research Institute discovers critical life cycle of Ebola

TSRI discovers critical life cycle of Ebola
TSRI discovers critical life cycle of Ebola | Courtesy of www.sciencedaily.com

Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) recently conducted a study that revealed a critical part of the life cycle of Ebola.

The scientists were able to witness how the Ebola virus assembles at a higher resolution than previously possible, which may help health professionals develop better treatments for the fatal illness.

The study was founded previous research from Saphire’s lab that suggested VP35, a viral protein, protects the Ebola virus as well as its viral cousin, the Marburg virus. VP35 is a kind of chaperone protein that coils to create a nucleocapside, or protein shell, encircling the genetic material of the virus. Under this protection, the immune system has greater difficulty battling the viruses, as it can no longer gain access to the genetic material of the virus.

Previously, researchers were unable to see the details of the coiling process. The researchers used x-ray crystallography, an imaging method, to see how VP35 aids the viral protein.

“This higher resolution is critical for design of much-needed antiviral therapeutics,” Erica Ollmann Saphire, senior author of the new study, professor at TSRI and director of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium, said. “These structures provide the blueprints that we need to see key vulnerabilities to attack.”

Further details are available online in the Cell Reports journal.

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Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium

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