Navigation Links
CU researchers explain mechanism that helps viruses spread
Date:6/9/2014

AURORA, Colo. (June 9, 2014) In an article published in the scientific journal Nature, a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues explain how RNA molecules found in certain viruses mimic the shape of other molecules as part of a strategy to 'hijack' the cell and make more viruses.

The findings by Jeffrey S. Kieft, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at the School of Medicine and an early career scientist with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and his colleagues solve a biochemical and molecular mystery that has confounded scientists for decades.

Viruses are worldwide threats to health and agriculture. To multiply, viruses infect a cell and take over that cell's biochemical machinery. Thus, understanding the fundamental molecular processes used by viruses to conquer cells is important. Among these processes is the ability of molecules created by viruses to 'mimic' the structure and behavior of cellular molecules. The virus' molecular 'Trojan horses' are part of their strategy to take over cells.

The paper describes the three-dimensional structure of a viral RNA that mimics one of the most abundant RNAs found in the cell. It was known for many years that this viral RNA was a molecular mimic. However, how the RNA acts as a mimic, how it switches between different structures, and how it performs multiple tasks was a mystery.

Using a technique called x-ray crystallography, Kieft and colleagues visualized the molecule's complex three-dimensional structure to high resolution. They found that the viral RNA has a 'two-faced' architecture: one face is a mimic of the cell's RNA, the other face is less similar and this probably gives the ability to perform several tasks during infection. This type of behavior may be widespread, thus this research could apply to many different viruses.

This understanding of how a viral RNA can mimic other molecules as part of a strategy to 'hijack' a cell may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines against infectious diseases.


'/>"/>
Contact: Mark Couch
mark.couch@ucdenver.edu
303-724-5377
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
3. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
4. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
5. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
6. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
7. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
8. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
9. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
10. Researchers discover novel therapy for Crohns disease
11. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader ... United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued ... linking of an iris image with a face image ... the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- The research team of The Hong Kong Polytechnic ... by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching technology, ... accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security of ... ... A research team led by Dr ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At its ... announced Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of ... been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is ... and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and ... distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from around the world to address key ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , ... of Cancer Research, London (ICR) and ... with SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple ... as MUK nine . The University of ... is partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer ... treatment of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and bind ...
Breaking Biology Technology: