Friday August 17, 2018

How Chikungunya Virus Causes Arthritis Pain Decoded

Scientists have identified the molecular handle that chikungunya virus grabs to get inside cells and cause arthritis pain, a finding that could lead to ways to prevent or treat the disease as well as related viruses.

0
//
28
Scientists have recovered oldest viral genomes of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and found that the deadly virus has been circulating in Europe for at least 7,000 years.
Virus, Representative Image- Pixabay
Republish
Reprint

Scientists have identified the molecular handle that chikungunya virus grabs to get inside cells and cause arthritis pain, a finding that could lead to ways to prevent or treat the disease as well as related viruses.

The study, conducted over mice, identified the protein on cells called Mxra8 that is needed for chikungunya virus to invade both human and mouse cells.

The virus uses Mxra8 protein as a handle to open a door into cells.

The handle, or receptor, is located on cells that build cartilage, muscle and bone. Joints are filled with such cells, which helps explain patients’ painful symptoms.

By creating decoy handles, the researchers showed that they could prevent the virus from grabbing that handle and thus reduce chikungunya infection and signs of arthritis.

“The name chikungunya comes from the Makonde language of Tanzania, and it means ‘to walk bent over.’ That’s how painful the arthritis can be,” said Michael S. Diamond, Professor at the Washington University in St. Louis, US.

mosquitoes
representational image. pixabay

“We now know how chikungunya gets into cells, and we may have found a way to block the infection. If the virus cannot get into the cell, it is unable to replicate and cause infection and disease,” Diamond added.

In the study, published in the journal Nature, the team deluged the virus with decoy handles, so that chikungunya would grab the decoy and be locked out of cells.

A day after infection, the level of virus in the mice’s ankles and calf muscles was between ten-fold and a hundred-fold lower in the animals that had been treated with Mxra8 proteins or blocking antibodies than those that received placebo, and the numbers remained lower over the next two days.

Also Read: Scientists Recover Oldest Virus Genome of HBV

In addition, three days after treatment, the mice that had received the protein exhibited much less swelling in their ankles than those that received the placebo.

The results suggest that a compound that blocks the virus from attaching to Mxra8 on the surface of cells could prevent or reduce arthritis. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018 NewsGram

Next Story

Virus Outbreak at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Can Cause Delay in Apple iPhone’s Launch

TSMC makes plenty of chips designed for iPhones, so Apple would be the most likely client to suffer shipment delays.

0
Apple
Apple car may become reality in 2023 Flickr Commons

Apple iPhone launch next month could be delayed by the virus outbreak at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) — the world’s biggest contract chip maker, the media reported on Friday.

TSMC, which makes chips for iPhones, suffered a computer virus outbreak and warned it could cause shipment delays as well as hit revenue.

The Taiwan semiconductor firm produces Apple's A11 chip that is in the iPhone X.
A variant of “WannaCry” ransomware hobbled computer systems at TSMC. Pixabay

“This incident has come at a sensitive period for Apple, which is preparing for its much-anticipated annual launch of new iPhone models next month after recording a market value of US $1 trillion last week,” the South China Morning Post reported on Friday.

A variant of “WannaCry” ransomware hobbled computer systems at TSMC after a supplier installed software without a virus scan to the company’s computer network. The virus caused machines to crash and continually reboot.

TSMC makes plenty of chips designed for iPhones, so Apple would be the most likely client to suffer shipment delays.

Apple
Apple is preparing for its annual launch of new iPhone models next month. Wikimedia Commons

“New York-listed TSMC has said the virus outbreak will delay its chip shipments through the end of September, but expected to make a recovery by year’s end. It had to shut down virus-infected fabrication tools and automated handling systems during the outbreak at its manufacturing facilities, but restored 80 per cent of those by Sunday,” the report added.

The Taiwan semiconductor firm produces Apple’s A11 chip that is in the iPhone X.

Also Read: Data Breaches Forced Governments And Enterprises to Focus on Cyber Security

The firm is currently making the next-generation A12 chip that is expected to be in its upcoming smartphones.

The Cupertino-headquartered company is expected to launch three new iPhone models this year. (IANS)