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Protein-RNA interactions in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells reveal key regulators of infection

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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, Coronaviridae family. The virus is composed of a single-strand RNA genome and is highly dependent on the use of host cells to aid in replication and spread in the body. The pandemic needed further research on how the virus works in order to fully understand and overcome this deadly disease.

British researchers, including Oxford and Glasgow Universities, and Heidelberg University, have published in the journal an analysis of protein-RNA interactions in SARS-CoV-2 and its subsequent importance. Molecular cell.. This study has a broader understanding of how the virus works and may help uncover new antiviral strategies for COVID-19.

Understand the life cycle

The life cycle of an RNA virus is largely dependent on the host’s resources, and most of the process consists of finding pathways to propagate, transport, and deliver the viral RNA genome to new cells. However, prevented by the virus’s own inadequacy of not being able to encode proteins that may be needed to achieve its goals, the virus hijacks and leverages cellular RNA-binding protein (RBP).

The virus that causes COVID-19 relies on cellular RBP to replicate and increase its number in the body. However, it is not entirely known which RBP controls the viral life cycle to characterize the RBP of cells and viruses involved in COVID-19 infection. This was the main purpose of the researcher.

These RBPs either help the virus replicate or cause an antiviral state in the cell and suppress the gene expression of the virus. It can act to promote or limit infection, which makes RBP an important regulator of the viral life cycle.

Global analysis

Researchers have discovered that the COVID-19 virus modifies the RNA-binding proteome of cells. This can have widespread effects on other components such as RNA metabolic pathways, non-standard RBPs, and antiviral factors.

A new method was also used in this global analysis to identify proteins that interact directly with viral RNA. The results revealed previously obscure cellular RBP and six viral proteins.

Analysis performed by these postdoctoral researchers shows how SARS-CoV-2 infection is regulated by components of the transfer RNA (tRNA) complex and by targeting the interacting host RBP. It also shows the available drugs that can inhibit the disease. Virus. It is possible to reduce or prevent the interaction of RBP with the virus by directing the strategy to RBP in the host, which may inhibit viral replication in the body and inhibit infection. That’s why it’s important. ..

Therapeutic significance

The importance of identifying and understanding the roles of key regulators lies in their use in targeting therapeutic agents. With the discovery of many potential therapeutic targets, including key cellular proteins and their drug targeting counterparts, “it will be possible to identify new antiviral drugs,” said the researchers who led the study. Alfredo Castillo commented. He said, “Their efforts, along with the efforts of the scientific community, should focus on testing these drugs in infected cell and animal models to determine which are the best antivirals. That’s it. “

Professor Shabaz Mohammed also included interactions and partnerships between the Castello and Mohammed labs that used Sindbis virus as a discovery model to help discover viral RNA interactors, helping the team work faster at the start of the pandemic. I will. He said their “methodology is ready to respond quickly to future viral threats.”

The joint efforts of these researchers in the global analysis of protein-RNA interactions in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells have revealed key regulators of infection and insight into available drugs that target them. Was obtained. This will enable the development of new therapies that can effectively prevent viral replication of SARS-CoV-2 and other potentially dangerous viruses, especially as new mutants are being discovered. I hope.

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