Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Kissing’ RNA and HIV-1: Unraveling the details

02.02.2004


A subtle structural change that may play a role in the molecular machinery for making HIV-1 (the virus that causes AIDS) has been identified by scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and University of Maryland working at the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB). If confirmed in living cells, the mechanism, described in the Jan. 20 online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, might provide a new target for antiviral drugs.



The finding is among several to emerge recently from CARB’s efforts to develop and validate sensitive tools for rapidly detecting and quantifying ribonucleic acid (RNA) interactions. RNA provides the genetic blueprint for retroviruses such as HIV-1. CARB scientists created a model system for tracking changes in an RNA structural element involved in forming HIV-1 viral particles.

As new HIV-1 viruses form and mature into infectious particles, two strands of RNA interact through a transient structure called a "molecular kiss." This structure is then packaged into new virus particles, which undergo further maturation after release from the infected cell. CARB scientists found that specific sites in the "kissing" structure acquire a proton (a positively charged particle) at a pH close to that of living cells. The proton’s presence alters the RNA structure and accelerates its refolding by a protein associated with viral maturation. Taken together, these observations suggest that such a mechanism might be at work during viral infection.


To track RNA binding and folding in real-time, the CARB scientists developed fluorescent markers as substitutes for pieces of the RNA. By monitoring changes in the fluorescent signal, the scientists could follow these reactions. The scientists also used nuclear magnetic resonance to identify the sites in the RNA that acquire the proton and to characterize the resulting conformational changes.

Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>