双语阅读:科学家另辟蹊径对抗感冒病毒

2019-09-18 06:04:32 来源: 中国日报网 举报
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Scientists think they have found a way to stop the common cold and closely related viruses which can cause paralysis.

科学家们认为他们已经找到了一种方法来治疗普通感冒以及与其密切相关的病毒,这些病毒可能导致瘫痪。

Instead of trying to attack them directly, the researchers targeted an essential protein inside our cells which the viruses need to replicate.

研究人员没有试图直接攻击感冒病毒,而是将研究目标对准了病毒复制所需的细胞内的一种基本蛋白质。

The approach gave "complete protection" in experiments on mice and human lung cells.

该方法在针对小鼠和人类肺细胞的实验中提供了“完全的保护”。

However, the US-based researchers are not ready for trials in people.

不过,美国的研究人员还没有准备好进行人体试验。

普通感冒的挑战

Tackling the common cold has been a massive problem in medicine.

治疗普通感冒一直是医学界的一大难题。

Most colds are caused by rhinoviruses, but there are around 160 different types and they mutate so easily they rapidly become resistant to drugs, or learn to hide from the immune system.

大多数感冒由鼻病毒引起,但是大约有160种不同的病毒,它们很容易变异,并且会迅速产生抗药性,或者学会躲避免疫系统。

This has led to the idea of "host-directed therapy" - essentially making our bodies inhospitable for the cold viruses.

这引发了“宿主导向疗法”的想法,也就是从本质上使人的身体不适合感冒病毒存活。

An individual virus does not have everything it needs to replicate. Instead, it is dependent on infecting another cell and stealing some of the parts inside.

单个病毒并不具备复制所需的一切。相反,它依赖于感染另一个细胞并从中获取部分物质。

It is why scientists still argue whether viruses are truly alive.

因此,科学家们仍然在争论病毒是否真的是活的。

A team at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, found one of the components which the viruses were dependent upon.

斯坦福大学和加州大学旧金山分校的一个研究小组发现了病毒所依赖的一种成分。

病毒的依赖

Scientists started with human cells and then used gene-editing to turn off instructions inside our DNA one-by-one.

科学家从人类细胞开始,之后用基因编辑一个接一个地关闭人类DNA中的指令。

These modified cells were then exposed to a range of enteroviruses - this includes the rhinoviruses which cause the common cold, and more dangerous viruses that are closely related to polio and can cause paralysis.

这些经过编辑的细胞随后暴露在多种肠道病毒中——包括导致普通感冒的鼻病毒,以及与脊髓灰质炎密切相关、可能导致瘫痪的更危险的病毒。

All the viruses were unable to replicate inside cells which had the instructions for a protein (called methyltransferase SETD3) switched off.

所有的病毒都无法在细胞内复制,因为这些细胞内的一种蛋白质(甲基转移酶SETD3)的指令已经关闭。

The scientists then created genetically modified mice which were completely unable to produce that protein.

然后,科学家们创造了完全不能产生这种蛋白质的转基因老鼠。

"Lacking that gene protected the mice completely from viral infection," associate professor Jan Carette, from Stanford, told the BBC.

斯坦福大学的副教授简?凯瑞特告诉英国广播公司说:“缺乏这种基因使老鼠完全免受病毒感染。”

"These mice would always die [without the mutation], but they survived and we saw a very strong reduction in viral replication and very strong protection."

“如果没有突变,这些小鼠总是会死亡,但它们存活了下来。我们看到病毒复制大幅减少,保护作用非常强。

The protein these viruses were dependent upon normally has a role in the intricate "scaffolding" which organises the inside of the body's cells, called the cytoskeleton.

这些病毒所依赖的蛋白质通常在复杂的“支架”中发挥作用,“支架”负责组织体内的细胞,被称为细胞骨架。

The findings, published in the journal?Nature Microbiology, showed the genetically modified mice were healthy, despite lacking the protein for their whole lives.

这项研究结果发表在《自然微生物学》期刊上。结果显示,尽管转基因小鼠终生缺乏这种蛋白质,但它们是健康的。

人们什么时候能得到治愈?

The plan is not to produce genetically modified humans, but to find a drug which can temporarily suppress the protein, and provide protection.

科学家的目的并不是打造转基因人类,而是寻找一种能暂时抑制这种蛋白质并提供保护的药物。

"We have identified a fantastic target that all enteroviruses and rhinoviruses require and depend on. Take that away and the virus really has no chance," said Prof Carette.

“我们已经确定了所有肠病毒和鼻病毒都需要和依赖的一个极好的靶点。如果把它清除掉,病毒就没有机会兴风作浪了,”凯瑞特教授说。

He added: "This is a really good first step - the second step is to have a chemical that mimics this genetic deletion.

他补充说:“这是非常好的第一步,第二步是找到可以模仿这种基因缺失的化学物质。”

"I think development can go relatively quickly."

“我认为进展相对会比较快。”

Exactly what role the protein plays in the viral replication is still uncertain, and will require further research.

这种蛋白质在病毒复制中究竟起什么作用尚不清楚,还需进一步研究。

For most people the common cold is more of an inconvenience than a threat to their health, but in asthmatics it can make their symptoms much worse and some of the enteroviruses can causes paralysis if they spread to the brain.

对大多数人来说,普通感冒对健康与其说是一种威胁,不如说是一种不便,但对哮喘患者来说,感冒会加剧症状,而一些肠道病毒如果传播到大脑,可能会导致瘫痪。

Prof Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham, who was not involved in the work, said the study was "neat" but scientists would need to be certain the approach was safe.

诺丁汉大学病毒学家乔纳森?鲍尔教授没有参与这项研究,他表示,这项研究“很简洁”,但科学家需要确定这种方法是安全的。

"There is increasing interest in developing treatments that target these host proteins, because it can potentially overcome virus mutation - one of the major barriers to developing effective broadly active antivirals.

“人们对研发针对这些宿主蛋白质的治疗方法越来越感兴趣,因为它可能克服病毒突变——这是研发有效的广谱抗病毒药物的主要障碍之一。

"But of course, viruses are very adaptable and it is conceivable that even a host-targeting treatment might not keep them at bay for long."

“当然,病毒适应性很强,可以想象,即使是针对宿主的治疗也可能无法长期控制它们。”

郑娟 本文来源:中国日报网 责任编辑:郑娟_NQ0738
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