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 hadrosaur noses into spotlight

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hope for effective new malaria treatment

Nov 26, 2012

A research project carried out jointly by chemists at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom and biological scientists at the Institut Pasteur/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in ...

Researcher sees marine nutraceuticals as growth industry

Mar 13, 2012

The marine nutraceutical industry is booming in Europe and Asia, and it has taken off in recent years in Canada as well. While the industry is still in its infancy in the United States, University of Rhode Island researcher ...

Recommended for you

New hadrosaur noses into spotlight

1 hour ago

Call it the Jimmy Durante of dinosaurs – a newly discovered hadrosaur with a truly distinctive nasal profile. The new dinosaur, named Rhinorex condrupus by paleontologists from North Carolina State Univer ...

Scholar tracks the changing world of gay sexuality

5 hours ago

With same-sex marriage now legalized in 19 states and laws making it impossible to ban homosexuals from serving in the military, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are now enjoying more freedoms and rights than ever before.

User comments : 0