Contribution of the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway to coxsackievirus-mediated myocarditis

Myocarditis, an inflammatory heart disease caused by the coxsackievirus, can lead to a dilated (enlarged) heart, which can result in sudden heart failure. A heart transplant is the only treatment for this condition. The proteasome is a cellular garbage collector that accumulates and destroys unwanted or damaged proteins. Ubiquitin is a molecule that latches onto damaged or mutated proteins and flags them for destruction by proteasomes. In earlier research, Dr. Honglin Luo showed that blocking the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway prevents the coxsackievirus from producing proteins, which may affect the ability of the virus to replicate. Now Dr. Luo is further investigating the effect of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway on replication of the coxsackievirus and development of myocarditis. The research could confirm that inhibiting the pathway limits virus replication and prevents abnormal protein degradation, which could lead to new treatments for myocarditis that reduce progression of the disease to heart failure.