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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Siberian scientists have found a way to block virus tick-borne encephalitis

Scientists from the Limnological Institute (LIN SB RAS, Irkutsk) and Institute of epidemiology and Microbiology (Vladivostok) has developed a way of blocking tick-borne encephalitis virus, which will allow you to convert a pathogenic strain in a safe, according to Thursday edition of the SB RAS “Science in Siberia”.

The publication explains that by analyzing the genomes of tick-borne encephalitis, the researchers identified two groups of strains: pathogenic and do not cause disease, and found that the difference between them lies in the structure of the virus. According to the researchers, the change of this structure will protect the virus.

“We’ve found several key amino acids substitutions that alter the conformation of viral proteins. Given this, it is possible to develop drugs directed action, simulating “turning” of the virus in its “safe” variant”, is given in the message words of the head of the laboratory for Bioorganic analytical chemistry LIN SB RAS Sergey Belikov.

He explained that the structure of the complex of two viral proteins NS2B and NS3 (protease), which are not included in the structure of the virus itself, but its reproduction, there are variants with different pathogenicity. The pathogenic strains of the active center (part of the enzyme determines its specificity and activity) transmits viral protein that is actively propagated and mild forms it is closed, resulting in the virus breeds is ineffective and the body can easily cope with it.

Scientists decided to simulate the situation in which the medication closes the active center and, thus, prevents the replication of the virus. “The novelty of their approach is to block the approach of “disease-causing” protein to the protease, but not the active site. The latter is unsafe, because it affects not only viral, but many other necessary for the functioning of the body of proteases that can cause side effects,” — said in the message.

The researchers of the short list in 2 thousand modern medical compounds already selected 20 of the most suitable, one of which in the experiments on mice have shown a very good effect — it has reduced the virus in 10 thousand times. “In our list of about 20 compounds, some of them can block the replication of the virus, but not in our pharmacy network. Now we need a customer who will Finance the completion of this work,” said Belikov.

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