Scientists from University of Illinois have revealed a drug which might be able to block the Ebola virus infection and stop the progress of the deadly disease.
Lijun Rong and his colleagues found that Ebola virus use a gateway called G protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs, to enter a cell after attaching to its surface. Blocking entry with a drug that ties up the receptor may prove to be an effective therapy.
Rong said that these G protein-coupled receptors were a big family of closely related molecules in humans, adding that about half of their drugs were developed to target GPCRs.
In the study, Rong found that 20 GPCR antagonists, or molecules that block GPCR receptors, were able to block Ebola and Marburg viruses from entering cells.
Rong further said that learning how the two viruses infect cells and how they could be blocked offers the hope of finding therapeutics to combat both deadly diseases. The study is published in the Journal of Virology.