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Identification of pelo, a host gene needed for efficient virus production

Viruses have limited genetic and , and often depend on hijacking resources (for example, nutrients and basic cellular machinery) from their hosts to survive, multiply, and cause disease. , from in China, and colleagues conducted a systematic search in the fruit fly Drosophila for genes of the fly host that contribute to high-speed synthesis of viral proteins, and identified the pelo gene as a critical host factor.

pelo is necessary for the efficient manufacturing of the capsid proteins of a number of fly viruses. As the protein dos not seem to fulfil an essential function in the host and is conserved across species, pelo might be a broad-spectrum antiviral target. The scientists conclude “the discovery of the general antiviral activity by pelo deficiency may provide a new therapeutic target for broad-spectrum antiviral therapy”.

Article: pelo Is Required for High Efficiency Viral Replication, Xiurong Wu, Wan-Ting He, Shuye Tian, Dan Meng, Yuanyue Li, Wanze Chen, Lisheng Li, Lili Tian, Chuan-Qi Zhong, Felicia Han, Jianming Chen, Jiahuai Han, PLoS Pathog, DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004034, published 10 April 2014.

Source

PLOS Pathogens