Scientists find way to stop reproduction of viruses that cause cold

September 18, 2019  20:31

Scientists from the universities of Stanford and California have found a way to stop the reproduction of viruses that cause cold, BBC reported.

Scientists have proposed acting on an important protein located inside the cells of the body. Viruses need this protein for reproduction, and manipulations with this protein, as shown by experiments, gave human and mouse lung cells complete protection against viruses.

The culprits of most colds are rhinoviruses. There are approximately 160 different types of these viruses, and they all mutate rapidly, hiding from immunity and drugs. The virus itself does not have the elements necessary to ensure its reproduction, so it depends on the infection of cells and the borrowing of some parts of them.

The experts identified one of the parts of interest to the viruses and ‘turned off’ it in the cells of humans and animals using genetic engineering (the ‘instructions’ for the production of methyltransferase SETD3 were deactivated in DNA). After that, the cells were exposed to viruses. None of the viruses could reproduce inside the cells. And animals completely lacking SETD3 methyltransferase were not infected at all.

Now, researchers want to create a tool that would temporarily inhibit the activity of methyltransferase SETD3 in a living body.

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