In April, Xiaochao Wei, PhD, Clay F. Semenkovich, MD and colleagues had their research titled “Suppressing fatty acid synthase by type I interferon and chemical inhibitors as a broad spectrum anti-viral strategy against SARS-CoV-2,” published in “Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B.”
SARS-VoC-2, otherwise known as COVID-19, is an “emerging viral pathogen and a major global public health challenge since December of 2019, with limited effective treatments throughout the pandemic.” Type I interferons (IFN-I) are part of the immune system’s response to the infection, which trigger signals that activate genes to foster an antiviral state.
The study identifies a group of IFN-I suppressed genes and fatty acid synthase (FASN) that are involved in lipid metabolism. Viral infection increased during overexpression of FASN or palmitate, while infection decreased during knockdown of FASN. The study also highlighted that “pharmacological inhibitors of FASN effectively blocked infections with a broad range of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and its variants of concern.”
In conclusion, the research of Wei, Semenkovich and collaborators suggests that “downregulation of metabolic genes may present an antiviral strategy by type I interferon, but they also introduce the potential for FASN inhibitors to have a therapeutic application in combating emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19.”