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Many viruses activate the same non-coding host sequence.

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by anciendaze, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    This gets into the constant battle over "junk DNA", and what it does. Researchers in China have discovered that quite a few viruses use the same non-coding DNA sequence to produce RNA that is not transcribed to proteins. Here's the paper in Science.

    Note: the abbreviation LncRNA means Long non-coding RNA.

    What does this RNA do?

    It turns out to bind to a specific enzyme, glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase. In this particular case this binding enhances catalytic activity of the enzyme, rather than suppressing it. This enzyme is measured in standard blood tests of serum with the acronym SGOT. The usual medical reason for looking for this is that it is a sign of liver or heart damage. It would naturally show up in viral hepatitis or myocarditis as a result of damage, but previously few suspected that it played a direct role in promoting viral infection.

    If you check on biochemistry where glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, and close molecular relatives, are active you will find many important reactions. The interesting thing for me is its role in metabolism.

    Blocking this RNA sequence could stop a number of important viral infections, and might be done without impairing non-viral cellular metabolism. This would be quite different from any present class of antiviral drugs.

    Someone who obtains the full paper might post a list of viruses using this pathway.
     
    cfs6691, Dan_USAAZ, ukxmrv and 5 others like this.
  2. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Still waiting for a list of specific viruses using the LncRNA described in that paper. Here's another article showing the many ways viruses use LncRNA, though not necessarily that one. I'm particularly interested in links to cellular metabolism, like the specific sequence which promotes glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase enzymatic activity, because of the effect on metabolism.
     

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