NPC1 typically transports cholesterol through a cell; without the protein, people can develop dementia.
Caption: The Ebola virus hijacks a protein called NPC1 to invade a host cell, as seen in this illustration.
has a vital function in cells - transporting cholesterol - but scientists say this should not prove to be an insurmountable obstacle to treatment.
The NPC1 protein is embedded within cell membranes, where it helps transport cholesterol within the cell.
To confirm their finding that NPC1 is crucial for Ebola virus infection, the researchers challenged mice carrying a mutation in NPC1 with Ebola virus.
At 50% stress level, there was practically no increase for the FRC10S and FRC30S while there was a slight increase for NPC1 and FRC12M compared to 30 % stress level, the increment could be due to the testing variation.
The increase is highest for NPC1. FRC30S shows the similar increase of NPC1 at this loading range.
Previous studies in mice have suggested that this gene has a role in controlling appetite, as mice with a non-functioning NPC1
gene suffer late-onset weight loss and have poor food intake.