Bioprospecting for Antiviral Peptides
Technical Report,30 Sep 2018,29 Sep 2019
George Mason University Fairfax United States
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Mosquito-borne alphaviruses such as Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus VEEV are of great concern due to their potential to cause severe acute human disease and the absence of effective treatment options. Cationic antimicrobial peptides CAMPs of innate immunity are a promising resource for the development of new antiviral therapeutics. We aim to develop a bioprospecting-inspired process for the discovery of antiviral CAMPs, using VEEV as a model arbovirus. Our process combines novel antiviral peptide harvesting microparticles, advanced mass spectrometry, and data analysis tools to identify potential antiviral peptides. Our studies focus on CAMPs from alligators and snakes, which have been suggested as potential reservoir species. We have produced particles for the identification of peptides that target VEEV-infected leukocytes. Development of particles to identify peptides that target VEEV is nearly complete. Development of conditions for stimulating reptile blood are nearly complete and development of our statistical analysis approach has progressed. In the coming quarter, antiviral CAMP discovery efforts will increase.