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An Italian R&D institution with experience in investigating the influenza A virus (IAV), is looking for partners for research cooperation agreement. His project applies NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and MD (molecular dynamics simulation) to understand how IAV recognize at molecular level their cell targets. This knowledge will provide new chances to develop anti-viral drugs and will improve a predictive capacity on virus characteristics that will help forestall future influenza epidemics.
An Italian no-profit R&D institution is investigating the molecular mechanisms of how the protein hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) of the avian influenza A viruses recognizes the glycan host cell receptors contributing to the virus diffusion efficiency.
The avian influenza A virus infection begins through the binding of the viral recognition protein hemagglutinin (HA) to the glycoconjugates (glycans) of host cells. Literature data suggest that the HA of human-infective influenza subtypes preferentially recognize α(2,6) linked sialic acids (SAs) (human-like receptors), whereas the HA of avian-infective influenza sub-types preferentially recognizes α(2,3) linked SAs (avian-like receptors). Viruses of avian origin infect and propagate between birds but rarely, and more dangerously, these zoonotic outbreaks become human adapted, carrying the threat of efficient transmission between humans; in this condition the virus is considered potentially pandemic.
Advanced NMR techniques (nuclear magnetic resonance), combined with molecular dynamic simulations (MD), are essential to characterize at the molecular level, the binding between the HA of selected subtypes (H1 and H7) and host glycan receptors. The long-term goal of this study is to understand the HA recognition mechanism, focusing on the ability of different HA forms to distinguish human from avian glycan receptors, enabling prediction of those mutations that could improve HA specificity.
This investigation will be of interest to academic applied researchers and companies, to provide new strategy to develop antiviral drugs. More importantly, it contributes to a predictive capacity on the virus features and diffusion behavior.
The Italian R&D institution is looking for research groups from universities, research institutes and/or companies for research cooperation agreement and to participate in European founded Research projects.
The partners sought are research groups with a strong experience in:
1. production of Engineered Avian Influenza A virus (IAV) recognition proteins: hemagglutinin (HA) of the new incoming IAV such as H1, H7, and selected mutations by standard expression methods.
2. Biochemical affinity experiments (i.e. glycan array) to tests HA affinity to avian and human glycan receptors.
3. Writing and/or participation to European founded Research Project
Partners sought are research groups from universities and/or research institutes and/or companies with strong interest in knowledge developments on the molecular mechanisms by which influenza A virus recognizes target cells.
The role of the partner will be to collaborate in the research project to share: knowledge, publications on international peer reviewed journals, dissemination, and application in search for funds (European and local).