The research found that the compound, called ddhCTP, which disrupts the replication machinery of Zika virus.
Researchers had proposed several theories for how viperin exerts its anti-viral effects, but precisely how it acted was a mystery. The current study reveals that viperin catalyzes the conversion of a nucleotide called CTP (cytidine triphosphate) into a structurally similar compound, or analog: the nucleotide ddhCTP–a previously undescribed molecule that sabotages viral replication. Read: Heart health, genes, and alcohol linked
“Nature has given us a template for creating a powerful and safe antiviral compound,” said study’s leader Steven C. Almo.