Finding the Host Genes Viruses Require

Posted on July 17, 2008  Comments (0)

Flu-infected fly cells reveal dependencies of the virus

The new study is important because it demonstrates a rapid-fire technique for identifying host factors such as proteins and carbohydrates that a virus commandeers to successfully infect a cell. By exposing the virus’s dependencies, the Wisconsin team has uncovered a target-rich environment for influenza drug developers.

By working in fly cells, the Wisconsin team was able to deploy a technique to rapidly and selectively silence thousands of genes to see which were used by the flu virus. Screening a library of some 13,000 genes, the group identified more than 100 whose suppression in fly cells hindered the virus’s ability to successfully take over the cell and make new viruses.

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