Apr 15, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The Ebola virus has yielded an important behavioral clue that could lead to a treatment for the incurable infection that kills 50% to 90% of its victims, researchers have announced.Enzyme-inhibiting chemicals have stalled the virus’ reproduction in laboratory-grown cells, reports senior author James M. Cunningham, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, in an article published online yesterday in Science. The research was partly supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectiuos Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).The researchers found two cellular enzymes the Ebola virus depends upon to reproduce. When they are blocked, the virus’ infectivity drops a great deal, according to a news release from NIAID.The Ebola virus uses the cellular enzymes to cut up viral surface proteins. Once the protein is split, the virus can multiply.Scientists applied broad-spectrum enzyme inhibitors to mammal cells before exposing them to Ebola. When an enzyme called cathepsin B was suppressed, the infectivity of the Ebola virus “dropped to near zero,” the news release said.The other enzyme, cathepsin L, played a helping role in Ebola multiplication, researchers found. Drugs that inhibit cathepsins are already being developed to fight cancer.The findings may be significant because Ebola, like its fellow filovirus Marburg, is part of a family of viruses that strike relatively rarely but can cause severe, often fatal hemorrhagic fevers. An ongoing Marburg outbreak in the Uige province of Angola had as of yesterday sickened 235 people, killing 215.”Finding medical countermeasures for viral hemorrhagic fevers is a global public health priority because not only do these diseases occur naturally, but they also have the potential to be unleashed by bioterrorists,” says NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD.The research illuminates the mechanism the Ebola virus uses to insinuate itself into cells, said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD. “These findings raise the possibility of a broad-spectrum antiviral therapy that could be effective against multiple hemorrhagic fever viruses.Chandran K, Sullivan NJ, Felbor U, et al. Endosomal proteolysis of the Ebola virus glycoprotein is necessary for infection. Science 2005 (published online Apr 14) http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1110656v1See also: NIH news release at http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/apr2005/niaid-14.htm.
The much awaited audio launch of superstar Rajinikanth-starrer Tamil gangster drama Kabali will reportedly take place here on June 11, a source said.ALSO READ:Kabali becomes the first Tamil film to be dubbed in MalayALSO READ: Rajini sir came up to me and said you are a fantastic actor, says Radhika Apte”June 11 has been locked as the date for the audio launch. By then, Rajinikanth sir should be back from his holiday in the US. The makers had earlier planned on June 9 but postponed it by two days to have it on a weekend,” a source from the film’s unit told IANS.The grand event will take place at YMCA grounds in the city. Directed by Pa Ranjith, the film will narrate the journey of a gangster.In the film, Rajinikanth will be seen as 32-year old and 60-year old sporting two different avatars.Recently, the editor of the film Praveen KL, in an interview with Indiaglitz, revealed that the film opens with Kabali (Rajinikanth) coming out of a prison after serving a period of 25 years. The film will then follow his journey of him becoming the biggest don in Malaysia. Also starring Radhika Apte, Dinesh, Dhansikaa, Kishore, Kalaiarasan and Taiwanese actor Winston Chao, the film is slated for theatrical release on July 1.Produced by Kalaipuli S Thanu, the film has music by Santosh Narayanan.