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The Role of Apoptosis in Influenza Virus Pathogenesis and the Mechanisms Involved in Anti-Influenza Therapies

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Because pandemic influenza virus infection can result in large-scale human death and have a major economic impact, influenza virus is one of the most important microbial pathogens. To control influenza virus, both clarification of the mechanisms by which the virus causes disease and the development of effective drugs and other therapies based on these mechanisms are needed. Virus infection often induces cell death, which can play an important role in disease pathogenesis, and influenza virus, in particular, has been shown to induce significant levels of apoptosis in vivo and in vitro. Over the past decade, the mechanisms by which viral and cellular factors modulate apoptosis induction in influenza virus-infected cells have been revealed. Viral proteins such as hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, M1, NS1, and PB1-F2 have been shown to be involved in apoptosis induction through extrinsic or intrinsic apoptotic pathways. On the other hand, several drugs with different mechanisms of action and a neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb) are currently used to control influenza virus. A better understanding of both how influenza virus infects host cells and the intracellular signaling pathways that are activated by infection is essential for the development of antiviral drugs and other effective therapies.

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Keywords: Apoptosis; H5N1; drugs; haemagglutinin; influenza virus; therapies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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  • Current Chemical Biology aims to publish full-length and mini reviews on exciting new developments at the chemistry-biology interface, covering topics relating to Chemical Synthesis, Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface and Chemical Mechanisms of Biological Systems.

    Current Chemical Biology covers the following areas: Chemical Synthesis (Syntheses of biologically important macromolecules including proteins, polypeptides, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides etc.; Asymmetric synthesis; Combinatorial synthesis; Diversity-oriented synthesis; Template-directed synthesis; Biomimetic synthesis; Solid phase biomolecular synthesis; Synthesis of small biomolecules: amino acids, peptides, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleosides; and Natural product synthesis).

    Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface (Chemical informatics; Macromolecular catalysts and receptors; Enzymatic synthesis; Biosynthetic engineering; Combinatorial biosynthesis; Plant cell based chemistry; Bacterial and viral cell based chemistry; Chemistry of cellular processes in plants/animals; Receptor chemistry; Cell signaling chemistry; Drug design through understanding of disease processes; Synthetic biology; New high throughput screening techniques; Small molecular array fabrication; Chemical genomics; Chemical and biological approaches to carbohydrates proteins and nucleic acids design; Chemical and biological regulation of biosynthetic pathways; and Unnatural biomolecular analogs).
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