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Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine have identified one way the Ebola virus dodges the body's antiviral defenses, providing important insight that could lead to new therapies, in research results published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.
In work performed at Beamline 19ID at Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source, the researchers developed a detailed map of how a non-pathogenic Ebola protein, VP24, binds to a host protein that takes signaling molecules in and out of the cell nucleus.
Their map revealed that the viral protein takes away the host protein’s ability to carry an important immune signal into the nucleus. This signal helps activate the immune system's antiviral defenses, and blocking it is believed to contribute significantly to the virus’s deadliness.