Enzyme study may lead to new SARS drugs

April 4, 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: Unique structure of African swine fever virus enzyme may allow drug development

Related Stories

Taking aim at a key malaria molecule

February 27, 2017

The iron-containing molecule heme is necessary for life. Cells require heme to perform the chemical reactions that produce energy, among other critical tasks.

Know thy enemy: Kill MRSA with tailored chemistry

December 22, 2016

University of Connecticut medicinal chemists have developed experimental antibiotics that kill MRSA, a common and often deadly bacteria that causes skin, lung, and heart infections. The success is due to their strategy, which ...

South Asians and Europeans react differently to common drugs

October 14, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- A University of Sydney PhD student has discovered the different diets and lifestyles of South Asians compared to Europeans could lead to the two groups requiring very different doses of medicines commonly ...

Recommended for you

Controlling ice formation

March 24, 2017

(Phys.org)—Researchers have demonstrated that ice crystals will grow along straight lines in a controlled way on microgrooved surfaces. Compared to the random formation of ice crystals on smooth surfaces, the ice on the ...

Astronomers identify purest, most massive brown dwarf

March 24, 2017

An international team of astronomers has identified a record breaking brown dwarf (a star too small for nuclear fusion) with the 'purest' composition and the highest mass yet known. The object, known as SDSS J0104+1535, is ...

Study into who is least afraid of death

March 24, 2017

A new study examines all robust, available data on how fearful we are of what happens once we shuffle off this mortal coil. They find that atheists are among those least afraid of dying... and, perhaps not surprisingly, ...

Inventing a new kind of matter

March 24, 2017

Imagine a liquid that could move on its own. No need for human effort or the pull of gravity. You could put it in a container flat on a table, not touch it in any way, and it would still flow.

0 comments

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.