Navigation Links
'Junk DNA' can sense viral infection
Date:4/24/2012

Once considered unimportant "junk DNA," scientists have learned that non-coding RNA (ncRNA) RNA molecules that do not translate into proteins play a crucial role in cellular function. Mutations in ncRNA are associated with a number of conditions, such as cancer, autism, and Alzheimer's disease.

Now, through the use of "deep sequencing," a technology used to sequence the genetic materials of the human genome, Dr. Noam Shomron of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine has discovered that when infected with a virus, ncRNA gives off biological signals that indicate the presence of an infectious agent, known as a pathogen. Not only does this finding give researchers a more complete picture of the interactions between pathogens and the body, but it provides scientists with a new avenue for fighting off infections.

His findings have been published in the journal Nucleic Acid Research.

Another battleground between pathogen and host

"If we see that the number of particular RNA molecules increases during a specific viral infection, we can develop treatments to stop or slow their proliferation," explains Dr. Shomron.

In the lab, the researchers conducted a blind study in which some cells were infected with the HIV virus and others were left uninfected. Using the deep sequencer, which can read tens of millions of sequences per experiment, they analyzed the ncRNA to discover if the infection could be detected in non-coding DNA materials. The researchers were able to identify with 100% accuracy both infected and non-infected cells all because the ncRNA was giving off significant signals, explains Dr. Shomron.

These signals, which can include either the increase or decrease of specific ncRNA molecules within a cell, most likely have biological significance, he says. "With the introduction of a pathogen, there is a reaction in both the coding and non-coding genes. By adding a new layer of information about pathogen and host interactions, we better understand the entire picture. And understanding the reactions of the ncRNA following infection by different viruses can open up the battle against all pathogens."

Finding an "Achilles heel" of infections

The researchers believe that if an ncRNA molecule significantly manifests itself during infection by a particular pathogen, the pathogen has co-opted this ncRNA to help the pathogen devastate the host such as the human body. To help the body fight off the infection, drugs that stop or slow the molecules' proliferation could be a novel and effective strategy.

This new finding allows researchers to develop treatments that attack a virus from two different directions at once, targeting both the coding and non-coding genetic materials, says Dr. Shomron. He suggests that ncRNA could prove to be the "Achilles heel" of pathogens.

Dr. Shomron and his team of researchers developed new software, called RandA, which stands for "ncRNA Read-and-Analyze," that performs ncRNA profiling and analysis on data generated through deep sequencing technology. It's this software that has helped them to uncover the features that characterize virus-infected cells.


'/>"/>
Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study suggests junk food in schools doesnt cause weight gain among children
2. TV Ads Whet Kids Appetite for Junk Food
3. With Junk Food Stores Nearby, Teens May Eat More of It
4. As unhealthy food outlets multiply, teens eat more junk
5. Doctors Urge Ban on Junk Food Ads During Kids Shows
6. Immigrants Eat American Junk Food to Fit In: Study
7. Among Cell-Phone Junkies, Rash on the Rise
8. People Less Likely to Buy Junk Food When Paying Cash
9. Junk Food Sugar May Help Some Fat Cells Proliferate
10. Is Our Junk Food Diet Killing America?
11. Junk Food Addiction May Be Real
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/6/2016)... UK (PRWEB) , ... May 06, 2016 , ... ... success in changing the way the pharmaceutical industry conducts clinical trials. This month Ibs ... most influential people in pharma, and he was honored as a Tech Disruptor by ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... May 06, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps has ... camp held at Oregon State University this summer. Employing world-class rugby figures, including former ... all skill levels with training on key fundamentals, match play, fitness and more. , ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 06, 2016 , ... ... feature AsedaSciences® in an upcoming episode, airing third quarter 2016, via Discovery Channel. ... vision of becoming a leader in optimized drug discovery through innovative cellular analysis. ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... May 06, 2016 , ... Online HR/benefits platforms offer a range of ... for traditional brokers and health plans. “ The Rapid Emergence of Online Benefits Firms: ... Information Services, Inc. (AIS), will offer an accurate picture of online benefits today, and ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... ... Canadian author Mark Black is a speaker, author, and life strategy coach who ... … with the help of his publisher Strategic Book Group and its subsidiary Publish ... bed waiting for a miracle: He needed a heart and double-lung transplant. From this came ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... 2016 Valeritas Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: ... public offering (APO). This was accomplished via a reverse ... and a private placement of approximately 5 million shares ... Under the terms of the reverse merger, ... Inc. will trade on the OTC Markets under the ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Research and Markets has ... Keratosis Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights - ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ... Highlights 2016, provides comprehensive insights into Actinic ... Keratosis market valuations and forecast, Actinic Keratosis ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... Therapy Market Outlook 2020" report to their offering. ... ,Recombinant technology has improved significantly in past years due ... in coming years. Many cancer drugs have been developed ... are also expected to be developed with its help. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: