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Existing Anti-Obesity Drugs May Be Effective Against Flu, Hepatitis and HIV

Monday, September 29, 2008

Viruses dramatically increase cellular metabolism, and existing anti-obesity drugs may represent a new way to block these metabolic changes and inhibit viral infection, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Using new fluxomic techniques, our study reveals that viral infection takes control of cellular metabolism and drives, among other things, marked increases in fatty acid synthesis, said Joshua Munger, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and a study author. We also found that if you target these increases in fatty acid metabolism using existing anti-obesity and anti-metabolism drugs, you inhibit viral replication.

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