Dr. Robert Davey, a virologist in the Department of Immunology and Virology at Texas Biomedical Research Institute, and his team focused their research on the mechanism by which Ebola virus infects a cell and discovered a promising drug therapy. Dr. Davey made a major breakthrough by identifying that two pore channels (TPCs), which are unusual calcium channels found in endosomes that control the way endosomes move through cells and the environment of the cells, are the key calcium sensor involved in Ebola virus infection. These TPCs need to be switched on for the virus's functioning. With the intention of inhibiting the virus from interacting with cellular factors, the researchers tested a small molecule called Tetrandrine, which was derived from a Chinese herb, on mice and found that the drug stopped virus replication and protected most of the mice from Ebola virus disease without apparent side effects and signs of cytotoxicity.
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