Regulate glucose supply to tackle influenza

New York, Dec 16 : Opening a new window to combat seasonal flu that affects millions annually across the globe, a new study has demonstrated that reducing glucose metabolism brings down influenza viral infection.

"Reducing viruses' glucose supply weakens the microbes' ability to infect host cells," said Amy Adamson, PhD and Hinissan Pascaline Kohio of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

The influenza virus is dependent upon the actions of the cell's own proteins. Adamson and Kohio boosted glucose concentrations in laboratory cell cultures and influenza infection rate increased.

Treating viral cells with a chemical that inhibits glucose metabolism significantly decreased viral replication in the lab cultures.

The researchers also demonstrated that the infection could be restored to high levels simply by adding Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), a major source of energy for cellular reactions, bypassing the need for glucose.

In addition, they inhibited infection by treating cells with chemical inhibitors of glycolysis, the initial pathway of glucose catabolism. Conversely, influenza viral infection of cells could be increased by giving cells more glucose than normal.

The findings of the study were published in the journal Virology.

--IANS (Posted on 16-12-2013)

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