Sumary of Source of Zika neurodevelopmental defects:
- Molecular Biology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, identified how microcephaly (abnormally small heads) and blindness may develop in Zika-infected fetuses, as well as a new way to potentially prevent these neurodevelopmental defects..
- The mechanism by which Zika virus disrupts neuronal development and results in congenital Zika syndrome was unknown..
- Because of similarities between Zika syndrome and a recognized congenital genetic disease (Kinesin-5) known to cause microcephaly and retinopathies in developing infants, the research team studied both, looking for similarities..
- “We had a hunch that the microcephaly and blindness that results from Kinesin-5 genetic disease could be linked to Zika infection, and the hunch paid off,”.
- “Our experiments identify a molecular motor as a target for degradation by an encoded Zika virus protein (Zika protease)..
- The researchers observed that Zika protease cuts Kinesin-5 during cell division, disrupting the process and causing a loss of function..
- Since the protease is part of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane, only target proteins that come in direct contact with the ER can be degraded…