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Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory properties of a novel cyclic peptide, ALOS4, in response to viral infection

Recently, several independent research groups demonstrated the favorable potential of peptides as anti-inflammatory agents due to their ability to compete with pro-inflammatory molecules for binding sites. Previously, using a phage-display technique we discovered a 9-amino acid cyclic peptide named ALOS4 exerting strong anti-cancer properties without any toxicity. Studying the role of ALOS4 in interferon regulation in malignancy, we found that ALOS4 leads to decrease of pro-inflammatory cytokines, prevents increase of IFN type I synthesis and stimulated a strong increase of antiviral IFIT3 in interferon-independent manner. Moreover, we demonstrated that treatment with ALOS4 leads to a dramatic reduction in expression of other interferon response genes, further supporting its anti-inflammatory properties. Based on our preliminary results we hypothesized that ALOS4 administration may be considered as an effective measure to manage the acute inflammation caused by viral infection. Therefore, our research is focused on elucidation of the mechanism of ALOS4 inhibition of the type I interferon response, and assessment of its ability to manage the cytokine storm. Finally, we are studying its ability to facilitate expression of genes involved in antiviral response.