Structure of EV-D68 Common Respiratory Virus Delineated

Michael G. Rossmann PhD Hanley Professor of Biological Sciences Hockmeyer Hall of Structural Biology Purdue University, West Lafayette IN MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michael G. Rossmann PhD

Hanley Professor of Biological Sciences
Hockmeyer Hall of Structural Biology
Purdue University, West Lafayette IN

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Rossmann: My laboratory has long been interested in the structure of viruses and especially of Picornaviruses (e.g. EV-D68). We published the first 3D, near atomic resolution map of any animal virus in 1985. That was of Human Rhino (common cold) virus serotype 14. We then went on to show where and how the virus would bind to cellular receptors and also how certain small capsid binding compounds inhibited the viral infectivity. The latter was a collaboration first with the Sterling Winthrop company and later with ViroPharma. Thus our work on EV-D68 is a direct continuation of my interest in picornaviruses.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Rossmann: The pleconaril compound (or derivatives of it) that we (in collaboration with ViroPharma) developed against common cold viruses is likely to be an effective inhibitor of EV-D68, the causative agent of childhood respiratory sickness.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Rossmann: Structural and functional analyses of recent isolates of the virus.

Citation:

Structure and inhibition of EV-D68, a virus that causes respiratory illness in children
Yue Liu, Ju Sheng, Andrei Fokine, Geng Meng, Woong-Hee Shin, Feng Long, Richard J. Kuhn, Daisuke Kihara, and Michael G. Rossmann

Science 2 January 2015: 347 (6217), 71-74.