Research

Researches

05 Jul 2018

HKU-Pasteur Research Pole advances the understanding of viral infection mechanism on dengue fever and related flavivirus diseases

Professor Sumana Sanyal, team leader, Tami Zhang and Iolanthe Lan published a paper advancing the understanding of viral infection mechanism of dengue fever and related flavivirus diseases, providing a solid foundation to further the development of effective therapeutic interventions against flavivirus infections. The findings are now published in Cell Host & Microbe, a leading peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Dengue virus is the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral pathogen and has become a global threat in recent decades, causing an estimated 100 million infections worldwide every year. Currently, there is no antiviral against dengue available and the efficacy of corresponding vaccine is yet to be assessed. Thus, there is a strong need to develop therapeutic strategies that can tackle this life threatening disease. 
 
Understanding the host cellular pathways that are exploited in the course of infection can provide insights into the development of antivirals and vaccine against dengue. A small tag-like regulatory protein, namely ubiquitin, can be added on or removed from other proteins via a mechanism called ubiquitin modification. Ubiquitin modification system has been reported to be involved in a diverse array of infectious diseases including dengue, yet a precise understanding of how ubiquitin modifications regulate either the host or viral components remains unknown. This study aims to address this question.