Friday, July 22, 2016

Proteomics approach finds other dominant virus proteins in Zika+ brains!

You could say that 2016 was the year of the Zika Virus. I'd honestly never heard of it. Friends from areas where it has been around for a long time made it seem like no big deal. Just another tropical virus you get sometimes (!!) -- but it has been implicated in some terrible stuff, including (terrifying!!) microencephaly.

According to this brand new, short report from Fabio Nogueira, et al., Zika virus may not be the only thing at play in the real nefarious stuff.

They got some brain tissue from brains that tested positive for the Zika virus by PCR, digested the protein and ran it out on a Q Exactive and looked for Zika proteins. And didn't find any.

They expanded the search to a much more comprehensive database...and found some highly expressed viral proteins -- from a different virus!! The virus is called the bovine-like viral diarrhea virus (BVDV-like) and they show nice fragmentation spectra in the e5s.

As a minor comment -- I don't think that we could say that the Zika virus proteins aren't there. Brain matter is going to be super complex and separation on a 15cm column for 180minutes is not going to provide ultra-deep proteome coverage, but this is pretty interesting. If we think of lethal viral models that hijack host cells and then produce tons and tons of themselves -- you'd expect the Zika proteins to be at high abundance. Or at least I would. It is at least super weird that another virus appears to be running amuck -- in the brain -- in 3 different individuals!

Seriously interesting and I'm glad this paper appears to be getting a lot of attention!!

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