A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi have found the target protein for action of antimalarial drug against Zika Virus, reports Economic Times. Assistant professor of biotechnology at IIT Mandi, Rajanish Giri, is leading the team of researchers which is working on the subject.
Earlier, Indira Mysorekar of Washington University in the United States had found that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a drug commonly prescribed for treating malaria, reduces Zika virus transmission from mother to foetus. Following the findings of Mysorekar’s research, Giri’s lab identified the target viral protein on which HCQ acts.
According to the report, Giri collaborated with professor Mysorekar and professor Sanjeev Kumar Singh from Alagappa University in Tamil Nadu for the research work. The findings from the work of the three researchers was recently published in ACS Omega - an open access journal of the American Chemical Society.
"While Prof Mysorekar's group originally selected HCQ for its ability to inhibit autophagy (natural, regulated mechanism of the cell that disassembles unnecessary), its mechanism of action against Zika virus target protein was not known. Our work has identified a viral protein on which HCQ acts," Professor Giri was quoted in the report as saying.
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne emerging global pathogen that belongs to the flavivirus genus. Other members of this genus include dengue virus, yellow fever virus, and Japanese Encephalitis virus.
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