USC researchers reveal cellular process that thwarts viruses
The human body has the ability to ward off viruses by activating a naturally occurring protein at the cellular level, setting off a chain reaction that disrupts the levels of cholesterol required in cell membranes to enable viruses to enter cells.
The findings, discovered by researchers in molecular microbiology and immunology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, hold promise for the development of therapies to fight a variety of viral infections.
“Previous studies have shown that our bodies are already equipped to block viruses such as Ebola, influenza, West Nile and SARS,” said Jae U. Jung, principal investigator and distinguished professor and chair of the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Department.
The study, “The antiviral effector IFITM3 disrupts intracellular cholesterol homeostasis to block viral entry,” was published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe on April 17. … Read More »