A group of Professors Takemasa Sakaguchi and Masanori Sugiyama of Hiroshima University elucidated the mechanism by which the virus escapes from the system that suppresses the growth of the virus.It may lead to treatments for pneumonia and bronchitis caused by human parainfluenza virus.

 When humans are infected with a virus, they release a substance called interferon to block the action of the virus, but the virus also has a mechanism to escape the interference.It was known that human parainfluenza virus escapes from the action of host interferon by the action of C protein.However, the details of this mechanism were not yet known.
 To elucidate this mechanism, the group mass-produced viral C proteins and proteins involved in the action of human interferon, and produced crystals of these complexes.The three-dimensional structure of the protein was clarified by analysis using synchrotron radiation.As a result, we were able to observe how the C protein binds to the holes of human proteins so that it inhibits its function.If the C protein can be covered with a safe substance before it binds to the human protein, it will lead to the treatment of infectious diseases.

 Drugs that inhibit the activity of pathogens at the molecular level are called molecular-targeted drugs, and research is underway to elucidate which proteins and how they act on various viruses.If the three-dimensional structure is clarified by analysis using synchrotron radiation, it will be possible to design a substance to be covered by computer simulation.Research on the design of such medicines will become more and more active in the future.

Hiroshima University

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