This new discovery may help stop flu forever

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Scientists from UC Riverside found a way to block one strain of the influenza virus from accessing a human protein it needs to replicate in cells.

This may stop the flu forever.

The discovery could lead to highly effective ways to treat the flu and could also apply to other respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19.

The research is published in Viruses and was conducted by Jiayu Liao et al.

While the flu is miserable but not life-threatening for many, it nonetheless kills tens of thousands of people each year, often the youngest and oldest members of a population.

Flu vaccines, which work by teaching the body’s immune system how to recognize and attack the virus when it enters the body, are not always effective.

In order to make a person sick, the influenza virus has to infect cells in the body, where it replicates and infects more cells.

The team previously discovered that the two most common types of flu virus, Influenza A and Influenza B, require a unique human protein to proliferate in cells and then infect more cells.

The current work has identified a way to prevent Influenza B virus replication by blocking this necessary protein. Without the protein, virus amplification is blocked completely in cells.

The Influenza B virus uses a human cellular process called SUMOylation to modify a gene called M1, which plays multiple roles in the influenza viral life cycle.

SUMOylation occurs when a small ubiquitin-like modifier, or SUMO, proteins attach to and detach from other proteins to change their biochemical activities and functions.

The team’s experiments found that a SUMOylation inhibitor called STE025 can completely block Influenza B virus replication.

Influenza B virus treated with the SUMOyaltion inhibitor showed a lack of SUMOylation on the M1 protein and was incapable of replicating in human cells.

The team says though more work is needed for a thorough understanding of Influenza B’s dependence on SUMOylation, the finding that STE025 inhibits SUMOylation and prevents flu virus replication brings science one big step closer to making flu flee forever.

If you care about flu, please read studies that flu shot may help prevent severe COVID-19, and flu may strongly hurt your heart.

For more information about flu, please see recent studies about differences and similarities between the flu and COVID-19, and results showing after weeks of flu-like symptoms, open-heart surgery at 26.

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