According to a recent study in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, a group of scientists find new metabolic pathways to resist viruses such as Hepatite C or Zika.
"Viral infection is one of the leading medical challenges of the 21st Century, ranging from the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) epidemic affecting 3% of the global population, to recent outbreaks of West Nile, Zika, and Ebola viruses.
Viruses are parasites that lack the basic metabolic machinery needed to replicate. To get around this problem, they hijack the metabolic machinery of their hosts in order to complete their lifecycle and propagate. However, scientists still don't have a good understanding of the metabolic interplay between viruses and the organisms they infect. This is mainly due to the complex interplay between human genes and metabolic processes.
Now, in new research appearing in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, an international research group led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem systematically identified an array of genetic switches that controls the metabolic response to Hepatitis C Virus infection. By carefully selecting drugs that target these genetic switches, the researchers were able to show how these genes control metabolic processes, such as glucose and lipid metabolism, and establish how these processes affect the virus lifecycle. Surprisingly, while some metabolic processes were beneficial for the virus, for example by providing it with building blocks for its genetic material allowing it to replicate faster, other metabolic processes were surprisingly anti-viral, disturbing the viral lifecycle."