Specialists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the direction of professor of biochemistry Ann Palmenberg created a three-dimensional model of rhinovirus. With its help, scientists were able to identify unusual structural features that allow the future creation of new medications for colds, noted in Medical News Today.
According to doctors, the virus is the cause of 50% of cases of childhood colds. For a long time, rhinovirus C could not be cultured in the laboratory. Therefore, due to the lack of a model, developers had to work almost blindly.
To create the model, the researchers had the opportunity to use the decryption of 500 virus genomes. As a result, a topographic model of the protein coat, the capsid, was created. The fact is that scientists have been using the three-dimensional structures of viruses of types A and B for a long time. Rhinovirus C was discovered only in 2006.
Antiviral drugs work by attaching to the surfaces of the virus and modifying them. However, it is necessary to select the ideal agent that is 100% structurally suitable. The fact that until recently there was no information on the surface of rhinovirus C was not possible to create effective drugs.
At the same time, this virus has significant differences from its counterparts. This strain causes about half the cases of colds in children. But for asthmatics, he generally poses a real threat. Now pharmacists have to start modeling the latest virus-bound element.
A computer model of the virus will help test new drugs. Scientists believe that an antiviral drug will be more effective if it attaches to the surface of the virus and thereby changes it.