Enzyme study may lead to new SARS drugs

Apr 04, 2006

Scientists at the University of Illinois say a study of an enzyme that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome may lead to new drugs.

"By unlocking the three-dimensional structure of this enzyme -- known as papain-like-protease -- we now have a molecular road map to design new drugs that could potentially treat SARS-infected patients, or perhaps patients suffering from other SARS-related illnesses such as the common cold, bronchitis or pneumonia," said Andrew Mesecar, Illinois associate professor of pharmaceutical biotechnology.

"We are attempting to use the same approach that has been accomplished in designing effective drugs against HIV protease, which has led to the development of new drugs to fight the AIDS virus," he added.

SARS was first reported in Asia in early 2003 and then spread to more than 29 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia before it was contained.

According to the World Health Organization, 8,098 people worldwide were diagnosed with SARS during the 2003 outbreak; 774 died. There were 29 cases reported in the United States, with no fatalities.

The research appeared in the March 27 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: New University of Texas System database connects government and industry to researchers

Related Stories

The monopoly of aluminium is broken

9 hours ago

Discovering Majorana's was only the first step, but utilizing it as a quantum bit (qubit) still remains a major challenge. An important step towards this goal has just been taken, as shown by researchers ...

Yik Yak's frat-bro founders shrug off growing pains

9 hours ago

The most popular post of all time on Yik Yak is a dirty joke. Less than 2 years old, the Atlanta-based social network is geared mostly toward college students who access and post unsigned announcements through an app on their ...

Fears for pink iguanas as Galapagos volcano erupts

10 hours ago

A volcano in the Galapagos islands erupted for the first time in more than 30 years Monday, sending streams of lava flowing down its slopes and potentially threatening the world's only colony of pink iguanas.

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.