This review focuses on bioinformatics technologies employed by the EU-sponsored multidisciplinary VIZIER consortium (Comparative Structural Genomics of Viral Enzymes Involved in Replication, FP6 PROJECT: 2004-511960, active from 1 November 2004 to 30 April 2009), to achieve its goals. From the management of the information flow of the project, to bioinformatics-mediated selection of RNA viruses and prediction of protein targets, to the analysis of 3D protein structures and antiviral compounds, these technologies provided a communication framework and integrated solutions for steady and timely advancement of the project. RNA viruses form a large class of major pathogens that affect humans and domestic animals. Such RNA viruses as HIV, Influenza virus and Hepatitis C virus are of prime medical concern today, but the identities of viruses that will threaten human population tomorrow are far from certain. To contain outbreaks of common or newly emerging infections, prototype drugs against viruses representing the Virus Universe must be developed. This concept was championed by the VIZIER project which brought together experts in diverse fields to produce a concerted and sustained effort for identifying and validating targets for antivirus therapy in dozens of RNA virus lineages.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.