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Recent Publications

KJEMS, JORGEN, Ferapontova, Elena, Gothelf, Kurt V. (Eds.)

Nucleic Acid Nanotechnology

Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology, Vol. 29Direct link
Prusty,B.K., Karlas,A, Meyer,T.F., and Rudel,T. (2011).

Genome-wide RNAi screen for viral replication in mammalian cell culture

Methods Mol. Biol. 271, 383-395Direct link


You are here: About ANTIFLU

The aim of the ANTIFLU project is to develop new and alternative drugs against influenza by exploiting the crucial function of host cell determinants as targets of small molecules and RNAi inhibitors, so-called indirect antiviral targets, in order to prevent viral infection and growth. This promising, new approach will open the route to innovative treatment options to combat influenza, which have the potential to complement currently available strategies and overcome their limitations, such as resistance and viral variability .

Viral replication is known to depend on multiple host factors. Whilst traditional anti-influenza treatments usually target viral factors, ANTIFLU will pursue a host-orientated approach, focusing on translational research targeting drugs interfering with host-response pathways and host cell determinants that play a role in the development of the disease. ANTIFLU will build upon an existing repertoire of indirect antiviral targets resulting from a previous RNAi based genome wide influenza virus screen carried out by the coordinator of the ANTIFLU project (Karlas A, Machuy N. et al., Nature 2010, 463:818-22 )*. The concept of drugs targeting human factors, established in treatment of other diseases, has yet not been sufficiently explored for treatment of viral infections, although it bears compelling advantages over conventional antiviral therapies: (i) the avoidance of viral escape mutants and (ii) the broad coverage against unprecedented viral variants.

The interdisciplinary consortium will identify and select validated host cell targets, drugable lead compounds (kinase and non-kinase ligands) against them, refine them into clinically applicable drugs, and perform preclinical developments. In addition, crucial host cell functions not targeted by conventional drugs will be explored using therapeutic RNAi. Therefore, knowledge generated within the past FP6 project RIGHT ( will be employed to produce potent RNAi inhibitors and apply advanced methods for the delivery of siRNA.

After five years, ANTIFLU will deliver the following main results generated through EU funding:

  • The proof of principle that influenza infection can be efficiently treated by targeting human determinants on either protein or RNA level using small molecule or siRNA inhibitors, respectively
  • A novel therapeutic strategy to combat influenza virus infections by more unfailingly (avoidance of resistance) and more versatile (broad intra-species spectrum) means

Influenza Virus Replication Cycle

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