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World News | Scientists discover new way to produce anti-flu drug: Study

World News | Scientists discover new way to produce anti-flu drug: Study

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Berlin, 25 February (PTI) Researchers have provided evidence of an influenza-causing modification of an enzyme that produces a copy of the influenza virus genome and can thus be used to produce new drugs.

The research team at the University of Münster in Germany was able to provide evidence for 59 specific modifications to the influenza A virus polymerase, in other words, the decisive enzyme responsible for producing copies of the viral genome.

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According to the study, the modifications described in the study are special in that they are delivered by proteins in the host cell — and, in contrast to viral proteins, they cannot mutate rapidly.

The modifications thus represent a promising method for the production of new drugs, according to the study published in the journal Nature Communications.

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Every year, flu season presents challenges for hospitals.

Despite being vaccinated, the elderly and those with existing medical conditions are at especially high risk of severe flu.

What makes flu viruses particularly insidious is their ability to mutate rapidly, making them increasingly resistant to drugs.

Therefore, new active ingredients are urgently needed in order to be able to continue to provide effective treatments for diseases in the future.

It said the study was an important step in that direction.

Influenza A virus polymerase (IAV polymerase) is a highly complex protein with more than one function.

One of them is that it can also replicate the viral genome, cRNA and vRNA after structural changes.

Without this “switch” of function, the virus cannot multiply.

As Dr. Linda Brunotte and Dr. Franziska Guenl and their colleagues have now discovered, according to this study, the IAV polymerase requires proteins from the host cell to act as “molecular switches” and carry out its many functions.

According to the study, these proteins are enzymes that dock so-called ubiquitin proteins at specific positions on the polymerase and thus trigger a signal for functional switching.

“We were able to make a map showing 59 positions where ubiquitin attaches to the viral polymerase through the host cell. These are completely new findings that reveal an Achilles’ heel of influenza A viruses,” explains Brunotte, who initiated the study . .

This ubiquitination has some effect on polymerase activity at 17 sites, the study said.

In addition, a specific position was identified whose modification represents a signal for conversion and related functional switching in the polymerase, according to the study.

So, the study’s lead author, Dr. Guenl, now looks to the future.

“Based on our ubiquitination map, it is now possible to further investigate which enzymes are specifically responsible for the modification of the IAV polymerase.

“Drugs targeting these enzymes would be able to resist mutations in influenza viruses, thus showing great potential for future treatments,” Guenl said.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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