Thanks to a new discovery you may not be afraid of viruses, said researchers
Scientists from the Trinity College Dublin have found a molecule that is important for cell growth. As it turned out, this molecule - STAT3 - also protects against infections, Eurek Alert reports. This discovery will restore the human immune system and build a protection against a range of viruses.
In any of viral infection interferon inhibits virus reproduction. When other body cells are stimulated by interferon, a set of molecules like a domino effect is activated inside these cells (sort of alarm signal). When the last domino falls, the cell is ready to be cleansed from the infection.
However, the immune system can not eliminate many viruses. Apparently, the viruses have learned to resist it. In particular, hepatitis C virus and respiratory syncytial virus affect the interferon signaling pathway that allows them to avoid the immune system. That’s why these anti-viral properties of STAT3 inspire scientists.
As they said, this element is vitally important for maintenance of activity of interferon signaling pathways. Studies have shown that without STAT3, the cells could not cope with the ordinary flu virus or cowpox.
Source: Eurek Alert.