Mosquito Protein Study
According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators, the mosquito protein AEG12 strongly inhibits the family of viruses that cause yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Zika and weakly inhibits coronaviruses,
- The researchers found that AEG12 works by destabilizing the viral envelope, breaking its protective covering.
- Although the protein does not affect viruses that do not have an envelope, such as those that cause pink eye and bladder infections, the findings could lead to therapeutics against viruses that affect millions of people around the world.
- The research was published online in PNAS.
- Scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH, used X-ray crystallography to solve the structure of AEG12.
- The AEG12 protein has great killing power over some viruses.
- While the researchers demonstrated that AEG12 was most effective against flaviviruses, the family of viruses to which Zika, West Nile, and others belong, it is possible AEG12 could be effective against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
- Part of the problem is AEG12 also breaks opens red blood cells, so researchers will have to identify compounds that will make the protein target viruses only.
About the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS): NIEHS supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health and is part of the National Institutes of Health.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.
Source : nih.gov