Zaire ebolavirus, also known as Ebola virus, is an RNA virus pathogen that belongs to the filovirus family and causes severe disease outbreaks in humans. This public health threat has resulted in outbreaks with reported case fatality rates of up to 90%.
From 2013 to 2016, the West African Ebola virus epidemic resulted in over 28,000 infections and over 11,000 deaths. From 2017 to 2021, the Democratic Republic of the Congo experienced four outbreaks, and the Ebola virus resurfaced in Guinea in 2021.
- Pets may be more at risk for COVID-19 than you thought – says study
- This drug may help prevent heart troubles linked to Sickle Cell Anemia
- Nine-year-old nearly dies after swallowing magnets for TikTok challenge
- Coronavirus: Double-jabbed and severe outcomes – Why this happens
- Coronavirus: Are smokers more at risk?
The researchers discovered several host proteins that interact with the Ebola virus protein VP30, which is essential for viral transcription. RBBP6, hnRNP L, and PEG10 are host proteins that inhibit viral RNA synthesis and Ebola virus infection. Another host protein, hnRNPUL1, works in the opposite direction, increasing viral RNA synthesis and Ebola virus infection.
The results of the study are published in The EMBO Journal.
“These findings are remarkable because we typically think of Ebola virus as growing uncontrolled in infected people. Our data show that our cells contain multiple proteins that target the same viral interface to slow virus gene expression and replication,” said Dr. Christopher Basler, corresponding author of the study.
“We hope that these findings will enable us to develop new ways to prevent or treat Ebola virus infections.”
The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.
Jyoti Batra and Nevan J. Krogan of the J. David Gladstone Institutes and the University of California, San Francisco are co-authors of the paper, as are Hiroyuki Mori and Robert A. Davey of Boston University School of Medicine; Gabriel I. Small, Nawneet Mishra, Dandan Liu, Daisy W. Leung, Gaya K. Amarasinghe, Mengru Zhang, and Michael L. Gross of Washington University School of Medicine.
Image Credit: Getty