Deadly diseases like brain cancer, Ebola, influenza, hepatitis, etc could be treated by targeting a protein called GRP78, a potential universal therapeutic target, says a new study. The superbug bacteria such as MRSE and MRSA could also be treated with this therapeutic agent.
By using a drug combination of the clinically tested OSU-03012 (AR-12) and FDA approved Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors (Viagra, Cialis) to target GRP78 and related proteins, researchers prevented the replication of a variety of major viruses in infected cells, made antibiotic-resistant bacteria vulnerable to common antibiotics and found evidence that brain cancer stem cells were killed.
Data were obtained in multiple brain cancer stem cell types, and using Influenza, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, RSV, CMV, Adenovirus, Coxsakie virus, Chikungunya, Ebola, Hepatitis, E. coli, MRSA, MRSE and N. gonorrhoeae, among others.
The chaperone proteins are very important in cancer cells or virus infected cells because these cells make extra protein compared to normal / uninfected cells.
The team found that the OSU/Viagra drug combination reduced infectivity via reduced viral receptor expression on the surface of target cells and the prevention of virus replication in infected cells.
The drug combination was able to reduce expression of viral receptors for Ebola, Marburg, Hepatitis A, B and C, and Lassa fever viruses. In cancer cells the drug combination reduced the expression of oncogene receptors, too.
In bacteria, the drug combination reduced expression of the equivalent GRP78 protein, in bacteria called Dna K, and induced cell death in pan-antibiotic resistant forms of E. coli, MRSE, MRSA and N. gonorrhoeae.
The study is published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology.