Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unprecedented insight into fighting viral infections

Date:
September 30, 2011
Source:
Rutgers University
Summary:
Researchers have determined the structure of a protein that is the first line of defense in fighting viral infections including influenza, hepatitis C, West Nile, rabies and measles.

Structure of human RIG-I bound to double-stranded RNA.
Credit: Courtesy of Joseph Marcotrigiano

Researchers at Rutgers and UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School have determined the structure of a protein that is the first line of defense in fighting viral infections including influenza, hepatitis C, West Nile, rabies, and measles.

Related Articles


Principal investigators of the study, "Structural basis of RNA recognition and activation by innate immune receptor RIG-I," chosen for advanced online publication in Nature, say the research is key in the development of broad-based drug therapies to combat viral infections.

"Understanding innate immunity to viral infections is crucial to developing drugs that can fight viruses or control inflammation," said Joseph Marcotrigiano, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers who along with Smita Patel, professor of biochemistry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, are principal investigators on the newly released study. "Having this foundation is extremely important."

RIG-I is a receptor protein that recognizes differences in molecular patterns in order to differentiate viral RNA -- the process during which virus particles makes new copies of themselves within a host cell and can then infect other cells -- from cellular RNA. What researchers discovered is that viral RNA, as opposed to single-stranded cellular RNA, is a double-stranded structure. This double-stranded difference is the reason the RIG-I protein recognizes it and initiates a signal to induce anti-immune and anti-inflammatory defenses within the cell.

Prior to this research, there was little understanding on how RIG-I protein recognized the viral infections, said Patel. Knowing that it is due to the double-stranded molecular structure of the viral RNA is critical because, he said, "a failure of RIG-I to identify viral RNA can lead to alterations of the cell, including cell death, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and cancer."

This is a first step, the scientists say, in helping to develop therapies that interfere with a broad variety of viral infections -- a major breakthrough for millions of people who get sick from viruses which cannot be treated effectively by current medication.

"This work provides unprecedented insights on the molecular mechanism of viral RNA recognition by RIG-I," said Barbara Gerratana, who oversees enzyme catalysis grants at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. "As a result, we have a deeper understanding of how the human body fights viral infections and a structural basis of the development of new anti-viral therapeutics."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Fuguo Jiang, Anand Ramanathan, Matthew T. Miller, Guo-Qing Tang, Michael Gale, Smita S. Patel, Joseph Marcotrigiano. Structural basis of RNA recognition and activation by innate immune receptor RIG-I. Nature, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nature10537

Cite This Page:

Rutgers University. "Unprecedented insight into fighting viral infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929161331.htm>.
Rutgers University. (2011, September 30). Unprecedented insight into fighting viral infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929161331.htm
Rutgers University. "Unprecedented insight into fighting viral infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929161331.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

500 Snakes Surprise Construction Workers In Canada

500 Snakes Surprise Construction Workers In Canada

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Hundreds of snakes, disturbed by a construction project, were relocated to a wildlife rescue association in Canada. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Zookeepers Copy Animal Poses In Hilarious Viral Photos

Zookeepers Copy Animal Poses In Hilarious Viral Photos

Buzz60 (Mar. 2, 2015) Zookeepers at the Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, Australia decided to take some of their favorite animal photos and recreate them by posing just like the animals. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heavy Toll as Australian Farmers Struggle Through Drought

Heavy Toll as Australian Farmers Struggle Through Drought

AFP (Mar. 2, 2015) Mounting debts, despair and forced repossessions are taking a heavy toll on farmers in parts of Australia suffering from its worst drought in 100 years. Duration: 02:16 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins