A potential target to stop Zika from replicating

Better than swatting mosquitoes…

The Zika virus outbreak is a global health emergency since 2016. The virus mainly transmitted by mosquito bites has no vaccine or antiviral treatment developed yet. Infections of pregnant women can lead transmission to the fetus and induce brain development defects. 

A recent study (Anton et al. 2021) made important discoveries on how the ZIKV viral replication is regulated within host cells, which could give researchers more insight to how to fight the Zika virus. The group led by Dr. Chatel-Chaix demonstrated that host VCP and vial NS4B interaction is required for viral replication. Inhibition of VCP ATPase activity inhibits viral replication activity, and allows for virus-induced apoptosis which further reduces ZIKV replication. The researchers were able to visualize the localization of VCP in cells using immunofluorescence, and used IP-WB to identify proteins in cell extracts. NS3 is another control for viral replication, for which a custom rat polyclonal made by MédiMabs, was used to show viral presence in the cell. NS4b and functional VCP interactions are required for Zika virus replication. Inhibition of the interaction or activity renders the virus unable to replicate. Zika has no effective treatment. However this article points out what may be a weakness in the viral replication that can be targeted.

Well designed and affinity purified polyclonal antibodies such as the anti-NS3 antibody in Anton et al. 2021 can be very specific for their targets. The situation can be further improved with the possibility of still producing monoclonal antibodies from the same project and same animals. At Medimabs we listen to our clients and design projects full of potential. When a polyclonal antibody works well, we can keep the corresponding splenocytes to produce monoclonal antibodies at a later date so that you never run out of that precious reagent for your projects. 

Written by
MédiMabs’ Team