Target discovery in virology has been limited to the few open-reading frames encoded by viral genomes. However, several recent examples show that inhibiting host-cell proteins can prevent viral infection. The human genome sequence should, therefore, contain many more genes that are essential for viral propagation than viral genomes. A systematic approach to find these potential cellular antiviral targets is global host gene expression analysis using DNA microarrays. Several recent studies reveal both unique and common strategies by which viruses change the gene expression profile of the host cell. Moreover, work in progress shows that some of the host pathways discovered by expression profiling are important for viral replication. Thus, human genomics tools have the potential to deliver novel antiviral drugs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery