More than 300 million people all over the world are infected by hepatitis B virus (HBV), and there are 2 million deaths per year. The Umeå researchers have studied the mobility of the virus's RNA, a property that is necessary for HBV to reproduce. Besides Jürgen Schleucher and Katja Petzold, Karin Kidd-Ljunggren of Lund University in Sweden and Sybren Wijmenga of Nijmegen University in Holland are co-authors of the article.
The structures of proteins and nucleic acids are usually presented as still images. However, the molecules' functions or interactions with drugs are dependent on structural changes, and it is possible to reach only indirect conclusions about these on the basis of still images. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is the only technology that enables studies of movements in specific parts of molecules. With the aid of NMR, the relationship between the movement and function of molecules has been mapped for many proteins, but only for a few nucleic acids. This is unfortunate, especially because several new classes of RNA with regulatory functions have recently been discovered. This means that RNA is now regarded to an even greater extent as an active regulator of cellular events, not merely a passive messenger for information.
When new HBV particles are formed in infected cells, the virus must translate RNA to DNA, a process that is called reverse transcription. It starts with the virus enzyme reverse transcriptase binding to a strongly conserved RNA structure in the virus. The authors found that fully conserved nucleotides (the building blocks of RNA) in this RNA evince striking patterns of mobility. This indicates that these nucleotides in the free RNA temporarily visit the structures that they use in complexes with reverse transcriptases, and that their mobility facilitates binding. This means that drugs directed toward the hepatitis virus RNA need to bind to a moving target.
These detailed findings are based on the first application of a new NMR method that was developed at Umeå University. The new method enables studies of movements in the bindings in the RNA molecule that give it its form. The method can also be used for complex bindings between drug candidates and proteins or nucleic acids in order to elucidate the stabilizing forces at the atomic level. Therefore, this can be a key tool in biotechnology and the discovery of new drugs. The research team is now moving on to computer simulations to produce images of the movements in an RNA.
Reference: Petzold et al., Conserved nucleotides in an RNA essential for hepatitis B virus replication show distinct mobility patterns. Nucleic Acids Research, doi:10.1093/nar/gkm774For more information, please contact Katja Petzold, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Biophysics at e-mail email@example.com or phone:
+46-90 786 97 19.
Pressofficer Bertil Born; firstname.lastname@example.org; +46-703414 303
Bertil Born | idw
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University
Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy