Author Topic: Flaviviruses form an unprecedented RNA structure  (Read 1764 times)

TTG4

  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 416
  • Karma: 4
  • Plants are my passion!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Flaviviruses form an unprecedented RNA structure
« on: April 23, 2014, 03:20:15 PM »
So I stumbled across this article
http://vaccinenewsdaily.com/medical_countermeasures/330580-flavivirus-discovery-may-lead-to-new-treatments-vaccines/

Since one of the papers was publshed in eLife it's open acess, so it's here (bit technical in places, but nice diagrams)
http://elifesciences.org/content/3/e01892

Essentially, the RNA of some flaviviruses (such as Dengue virus and West Nile virus) use a host enzyme which breaks down the RNA (called an exonuclease, specifically Xrn1 in this case) to produce very small bits of RNA which causes symptoms to develop.

What they've shown in this paper, is that the non-degraded RNA have completely new folded structures which prevent the enzyme from breaking them down. This is interesting as these sorts of folds can be induced, meaning it's a potential new theraputic target (not just a cool little virus trick)!

comrade_general

  • Guest
Re: Flaviviruses form an unprecedented RNA structure
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 03:23:43 PM »
Soooooo you've cured cancer?

Tom

  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 1506
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Flaviviruses form an unprecedented RNA structure
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 06:50:20 PM »
I don't think so but I do believe that a genetically engineered virus could be our best bet to curing cancer.

TTG4

  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 416
  • Karma: 4
  • Plants are my passion!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Flaviviruses form an unprecedented RNA structure
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 09:43:09 PM »
I don't think so but I do believe that a genetically engineered virus could be our best bet to curing cancer.

Possibly, the main issue is that there are so many different ways a cancer can develop and there's such a huge amount of variation between different cancers in different patients, so I suspect a single 'cure' will never happen.

Silver Wolf

  • Megas Domestikos
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 4722
  • Karma: 42
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Flaviviruses form an unprecedented RNA structure
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 10:25:28 PM »
We don't even understand it well enough.
"Less of a young professional - more of an ancient amateur. But frankly, I'm an absolute dream."

Tom

  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 1506
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Flaviviruses form an unprecedented RNA structure
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2014, 10:37:09 AM »
Yeah, I'm not well educated enough to understand the nuances of cancer yet. Would it be possible though for a virus to replace a specific piece of DNA that is causing the cancer and only that piece with the correct sequence? Of course mitosis is probably controlled by many different genes and we probably haven't  identified those genes yet but theoretically is it possible?

Silver Wolf

  • Megas Domestikos
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 4722
  • Karma: 42
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Flaviviruses form an unprecedented RNA structure
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2014, 03:05:52 PM »
Theoretically, yes.
But finding something so selective and precise is nearly impossible right now.
And you would have to identify the exact oncogene which started it, along with it's mechanism. So that could only work for some kinds of cancers. Which means that you would have to test each patient and approach them with individual (personalized) treatment.
"Less of a young professional - more of an ancient amateur. But frankly, I'm an absolute dream."

Tom

  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 1506
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Flaviviruses form an unprecedented RNA structure
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2014, 05:11:33 PM »
Yeah, that sucks. I guess we need a few more advancements in science before we can develop something like that.