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: Researchers create methylation maps of Neanderthals and Denisovans, compare them to modern humans

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 ...

Scientists invent new way to disarm malaria parasite

Aug 30, 2011

A novel technique to "tame" the malaria parasite, by forcing it to depend on an external supply of a vital chemical, has been developed by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California-San ...

Novel compound selectively kills cancer cells

Jul 13, 2011

A cancer cell may seem out of control, growing wildly and breaking all the rules of orderly cell life and death. But amid the seeming chaos there is a balance between a cancer cell's revved-up metabolism and skyrocketing ...

Recommended for you

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...