Austrian scientists identify SARS receptor

July 12, 2005

Brussels, 11 Jul 2005

For the first time, researchers in Austria have identified an important receptor protein for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which originated in southern China in 2002 and quickly spread to six continents, killing nearly 800 people.

Previous research had identified ACE2, a protein involved in regulating blood pressure, as a potential receptor for SARS. Josef Penninger and colleagues at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna tested the theory in mice, and were able to show that SARS infection reduces ACE2 expression, resulting in damage to blood vessels in the lungs, which as a result eventually become flooded.

Furthermore, in a second paper the same team also reports that treating mice with ACE2 can protect them from lung failure brought on by another condition known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Both findings should help researchers to treat other diseases that affect lung function.

Professor Penninger said: 'We of course need to extend these findings in mice now to humans. Yet in essence, SARS pointed us to a protein that may help millions of people affected with a previously untreatable disease.'

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
Item source: http:/// ALLER=NHP_EN_NEWS&ACTION=D&SESSION=&RCN= EN_RCN_ID:24126

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments