Research press release


Nature Medicine

Inside-out antivirals


個々のウイルスを標的にするのではなく、感染細胞上に広く発現される分子を標的にするという方法をとれば、多種類のウイルスに対抗できる治療法が実現するかもしれない。P Thorpeたちは、ウイルスの複製の際に起こる出来事、例えば感染細胞が死ぬ直前に起こる変化によって、通常なら細胞膜の内側表面に存在するリン脂質が細胞外に露出する可能性があると考えた。


Targeting specific fat molecules normally found on the inside of the cell membrane could be a therapeutic strategy against viral diseases, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Medicine.

Therapies against multiple classes of viruses might be achieved by targeting molecules that are widely expressed on infected cells, as opposed to targeting individual viruses. Philip Thorpe and colleagues reasoned that events occurring during virus replication ? for example, changes immediately before an infected cell dies ? might lead to the extracellular exposure of fat molecules, known as phospholipids, that are normally on the inner surface of the cell membrane.

The team used a specific antibody, bavituximab, to target these potentially exposed molecules in cells infected with Pichinde virus. This virus is used as a model for Lassa fever virus ? a potential bioterrorism agent. They found that infection led to the exposure of phospholipids, and that bavituximab treatment cured guinea pigs lethally infected with the virus. The authors found a similar therapeutic effect of bavituximab in mice with lethal cytomegalovirus infections. These results represent a new strategy for the generation of antiviral agents.

doi: 10.1038/nm.1885


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