Researchers Identify a Potential New Drug Candidate against Enterovirus 71

Jan, 2021 - By WMR

Researchers Identify a Potential New Drug Candidate against Enterovirus 71

According to a new study by the researchers of Duke University, Case Western Reserve University, and Rutgers University have reported to found a potential novel drug candidate against a virus known as enterovirus 71, which causes hand, foot, and mouth disease in newborns and young children. Researchers suggested to found a small molecule that attaches to the virus's (enterovirus 71) RNA, and alters its 3-D shape in such a manner that inhibits enterovirus 71 from growing without any harm to its human host.

Researchers also informed that there are no FDA-approved drugs or vaccines available for the treatment of enterovirus 71, which is prevalent majorly in Southeast Asia and affects thousands of children each year and in certain severe cases this disease can result in brain inflammation, paralysis, and death.

Amanda Hargrove stated, “For diseases that don't have good treatments, maybe the problem is we've been targeting the wrong thing.”

In the study, researchers selected a group of around 30 small molecules that can attach firmly to the bulge and not in the other sites in the virus's RNA. Researchers suggested that RNA is a wavy molecule so whenever it gets attached to other molecules including host proteins or small molecule drugs, turns into creating different 3D shapes. Later, researchers discovered one molecule called dubbed DMA-135, which entered into infected human cells and attached itself to the RNA’S bulge, creating a curve in this region. The alteration in the shape further allows a human repressor protein to enter which can inhibit the viral growth in its tracks.

Researchers concluded that further studies and around five years is required to develop a particular drug for the treatment of hand, foot, and mouth disease.

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