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DRACO: Selectively eliminating retroviral immune stressors that increase in severity with aging; Hepatitis-C, Dengue Flavivirus, tacaribe, more

By hkugler at Nov. 21, 2011, 1:35 p.m., 4262 hits

MIT researchers report first broad-spectrum antiviral that, selectively, induces apoptosis in infected cells:
Currently there are relatively few antiviral therapeutics, and most which do exist are highly pathogen-specific or have other disadvantages. We have developed a new broad-spectrum antiviral approach, dubbed Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) Activated Caspase Oligomerizer (DRACO) that selectively induces apoptosis in cells containing viral dsRNA, rapidly killing infected cells without harming uninfected cells. We have created DRACOs and shown that they are nontoxic in 11 mammalian cell types and effective against 15 different viruses, including dengue flavivirus, Amapari and Tacaribe arenaviruses, Guama bunyavirus, and H1N1 influenza. We have also demonstrated that DRACOs can rescue mice challenged with H1N1 influenza. DRACOs have the potential to be effective therapeutics or prophylactics for numerous clinical and priority viruses, due to the broad-spectrum sensitivity of the dsRNA detection domain, the potent activity of the apoptosis induction domain, and the novel direct linkage between the two which viruses have never encountered.
More tpo come.

Posts [ 2 ] | Last post Nov. 21, 2011, 1:35 p.m.
#1 - Nov. 20, 2011, 3:25 p.m.
Hans J. Kugler, PhD

DRACO. Researchers at MIT discovered a method to kill – very specific – cells that are infected with some of the most severe viruses, like Hepatitis-C, HIV, Herpes, HPV, and more, and leaving uninfected cells untouched. All these viruses have, as an individual characteristic, double-stranded RNA (DSR). The MIT scientists built a cytotoxic T-cell by attaching 1) a receptor for double-stranded RNA, and 2) a DED (Death Effector Domain, apoptosis-inducing) part.
What happens, step-by-step, is this:
1) The cytotoxic T-cell scours the body. When it finds DSR, it attaches to the cell.
2) The DED part then indices apoptosis (cellular suicide) in the infected cell.
3) The cytotoxic T-cell moves on to find another infected cell.
The name DRACO is dubbed Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) Activated Caspase Oligomerizer.
Since this is such a magnificent discovery - - true medicine - - I have included it in an overview of aging research and stem cells in my latest e-book. For details:
Find the full MIT paper - - Todd H. Rifer, et al - - at

— Last Edited by Hans J. Kugler, PhD at 2011-12-04 00:07:58 —

#2 - Nov. 21, 2011, 1:35 p.m.
Hans J. Kugler, PhD

For a schematic - slide-type - overview of the DRACO mechanism, click on “THE RIGHT STUFF” at

— Last Edited by Hans J. Kugler, PhD at 2011-12-04 00:09:40 —