In the March issue of
The team discovered that following infection the virus activates the MAP kinase signalling pathway of the host cell. When cells were treated with the drug U0126, a specific inhibitor of MAP kinase, the virus was still able to reproduce itself but the newly synthesised viral particles were retained in the nucleus of the host cell, preventing further viral replication.
MAP kinases are important for a number of normal cellular processes such as growth and proliferation. So before MAP kinase inhibitors can be used as anti-flu drugs, methods to target the drugs to virally infected cells must be found if unwanted side-effects are to be avoided.