Potential drug target for Zika, similar viruses identified
Scientists have identified a single gene pathway that can disrupt Zika and similar viruses from spreading in the body and also act as a potential drug target for such deadly diseases.
The findings showed that disabling SPCS1 — in both human and insect cells — reduces viral infection and does not negatively affect the cells themselves. “We wanted to find out if we could identify genes present in the host cells that are absolutely required by the virus for infection,” said Michael Diamond, Professor at Washington University. The absence of SPCS1 gene shut down the spread of flaviviruses while eliminating the gene had no detrimental effect on other types of viruses, including alphaviruses, bunyaviruses and rhabdoviruses, the researchers said.