Fighting Viral Infections

SERA Takashi

/ Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology / Professor / sera[at]cc.okayama-u.ac.jp

Ongoing advances in chemical biology are permitting better understanding of complex life systems at molecular level. Working at the interface between chemistry and biology, we are conducting interdisciplinary research into biodynamic molecule function in order to develop revolutionary new anti-viral biotechnologies for use in agriculture and human / veterinary medicine.Our approach seeks to prevent viruses from proliferating after an infection occurs. The strategy involves the creation of an artificial DNA-binding protein that attaches to a virus more strongly than the virus’s own replication protein. We have demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique in both plants and animals. The potential of this method is enormous. Its benefits could include complete prevention of viral proliferation.

Reference: T. MINO, T. MORI, Y. AOYAMA & T. SERA: “Gene- and Protein-Delivered Zinc Finger–Staphylococcal Nuclease Hybrid for Inhibition of DNA Replication of Human Papillomavirus”, PLOS ONE, 8(2): e56633. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056633

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An artificial DNA-binding protein. It inhibits virus replication by preventing virus replication protein from binding to viral genome, as it has higher binding ability.