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Ebola virus recorded as an assistant in the treatment of brain tumors

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Glioblastoma is the most common and, moreover, aggressive form of a brain tumor that develops from neuroglia, auxiliary cells of the nervous tissue. It is very difficult to treat glioblastoma, so specialists are actively looking for non-trivial solutions for the treatment of this disease.

For example, scientists from Yale University decided to “attract” one of the most dangerous pathogens in the world – the Ebola virus.

The fact is that cancer cells lack the ability to generate an innate immune response against bacteria and viruses. This led scientists to the idea that the same viruses can be used to fight the tumor.

In order to avoid the development of infection, the researchers experimented with the so-called chimeric viruses, which consist of a nucleic acid and a protein capsid of different viruses or combine the genes of different infectious agents.

In a study published in the Journal of Virology , scientists led by Zhang Xue studied the properties of such a chimeric vesicular stomatitis virus that contains one of the genes for Ebola.

This gene encodes an MLD protein (a glycoprotein with a mucin-like domain), which plays an important role in avoiding the virus from the host’s immune response. When mice with glioblastoma were introduced into the body, MLD molecules helped to target viruses on tumor cells and precisely infect them.

The beneficial effect of MLD molecules is that it protects membrane glycoproteins from proteolysis and thereby complicates the process of infection of body cells. Cancer cells lack ligands for binding to MLD, and they remain defenseless against the virus. In addition, a chimeric virus with MLD genes replicates more slowly than a normal unmodified virus, and therefore is less dangerous for the body.

According to scientists, the injection of such chimeric viruses can be a good complement to surgery in the treatment of glioblastoma and the prevention of relapse of cancer.

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