AEG12 Mosquito Protein

The researchers from the US National Institutes of Health have found that, a mosquito protein called AEG12 strongly inhibits the family of viruses which causes dengue, yellow fever, Zika and West Nile. They also noted that the protein also inhibits the coronaviruses.

Key Findings

The researchers further found that the mosquito protein, AEG12, works by destabilising the viral envelope and breaking the protective covering of the virus. It does not affect the viruses which do not have any envelope. The researchers used the X-ray crystallography to solve structure of the protein. It was found that the protein rips out the lipids, that is fat-like portions of membrane which hold virus together, at the molecular level. It shows that, the protein is hungry for lipids which are present in the membrane of virus so it gets rid of some of its lipids. It then exchanges those lipids with the one it prefers.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH is the primary agency of United States government. The agency is responsible for the biomedical and public health research. NIH was established in late 1880s. It is now a part of United States Department of Health and Human Services. Most of the NIH facilities are located in Bethesda, Maryland and nearby suburbs of Washington metropolitan area. The agency conducts its own scientific research using its Intramural Research Program (IRP). It also provides major biomedical research funding to the non-NIH research facilities under its Extramural Research Program. It includes 27 separate institutes and centres of various biomedical disciplines.  The agency is also responsible for several scientific accomplishments such as discovery of fluoride so as to prevent tooth decay, use of lithium to control the bipolar disorder etc.

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