Tiny protein offers major insight into foot-and-mouth virus
Scientists have identified that a tiny protein, which plays a major role in the replication of foot-and-mouth disease virus, demonstrates a greater level of genetic economy than previously reported.
Lead researcher Professor Nicola Stonehouse, from the University of Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences, said: "Sometimes it's the little things that can make the big differences. By understanding the role of this tiny viral protein in the replication of foot-and-mouth disease virus, we're hoping to find more effective vaccines that fight the disease."
Researchers from the University of Leeds and The Pirbright Institute identified a new role for a small viral protein – called 3B3 – revealing how these viruses can copy themselves efficiently. Foot-and-mouth disease is of great economic importance and their findings could lead to the development of more effective vaccines against the disease in the future.
The research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the findings have been published online at https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006666 in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
Professor Nicola Stonehouse, from the University of Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences, is available for interview. Please contact Simon Moore in the University press office at +44 (0)113 34 34031 or [email protected] for further information.