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Infectious disease

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

ATP-binding cassette sub-family C member 1 (ABCC1; MRP; MRP1)

Cell culture studies suggest cytotoxic drugs such as vincristine could help prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in transplant recipients. Most humans harbor latent CMV infections, but the virus can reactivate and cause severe disease in immunocompromised hosts such as transplant recipients. In a human myeloid cell line, the CMV transcript protein UL138 decreased cell surface expression of MRP1, a transporter that exports drugs including vincristine, compared with no transcript. In cultured human myeloid cells treated with vincristine, cells with latent CMV infection were more sensitive to killing than uninfected cells. Next steps include testing whether cytotoxins exported by MRP1 could help selectively deplete human CMV from populations of bone marrow cells for transplant.
Vincristine is a generic chemotherapeutic.

SciBX 6(16); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.391
Published online April 25, 2013

Patent application filed; available for licensing from Cambridge Enterprise Ltd.

Weekes, M.P. et al. Science; published online April 12, 2013;
Contact: Paul J. Lehner, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K.