Morphing Protein Offers Multiple Targets for Ebola
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered the molecular mechanism by which the deadly Ebola virus assembles, providing potential new drug targets. Surprisingly, the study showed that the same molecule that assembles and releases new viruses also rearranges itself into different shapes, with each shape controlling a different step of the virus’s life cycle.
“Like a ‘Transformer,’ this protein of the Ebola virus adopts different shapes for different functions,” said Erica Saphire, professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science at TSRI. “It revises a central dogma of molecular biology — that a protein molecule has one shape that predestines one biological function.”
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