The discovery of AEG12 Mosquito Protein

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The discovery of AEG12 Mosquito Protein

The discovery of AEG12 Mosquito Protein

  • Recently, researchers from the US National Institutes of Health discovered a mosquito protein called ‘AEG12’.
  • The mosquito protein AEG12 strongly inhibits the family of viruses that cause yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Zika and weakly inhibits coronaviruses, according to scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators.

Key Points:

  • This protein cuts out lipids at the molecular level (fatty parts of the membrane that hold the virus firmly).
  • AEG12 mosquito protein destabilizes the infected cover and destroys its protective covering; this increases the chances of the virus getting destroyed. However, this protein is not effective on single enveloped viruses.
  • It is most effective against flaviviruses. It is known that the Zika and West Nile viruses belong to the flavivirus family.
  • Scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH, used X-ray crystallography to solve the structure of AEG12.
  • This protein may be effective in the treatment of SARS-Cov-2, which is the cause of Covid-19. However, there is a possibility that the development of this therapy with the help of bioengineering may take several years.

Source – The Hindu

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