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The Mystery of Zika Virus’ Reproduction Discovered

 

The Zika virus’ reproductive process in host cells has been discovered. Recently, Yang Haitao’s team, from Tianjin University, published an article in the "Protein & Cell", which showed the crystal structure of Zika Virus helicase and unlocked the key process and mechanism of Zika Virus replication. As a consequence, this achievement will play a positive role in the development of antiviral drugs.

In this research, Yang’s team successfully obtained 3D images of the executive functions and the combinations of substrate of the Zika Virus helicase. Further, they demonstrated the spatial structures of three element complex formed by Zika Virus helicase, ATP and metal catalyzed ion at the atomic resolution level. As well, they also captured the intermediate state of the combining Zika Virus helicase with ATP and a mental catalyzed ion. They are the first to reveal the structure when Flavivirus (which is a class of mosquito borne virus, including Zika Virus, Dengue Virus, Yellow Fever Virus, West Nile Virus, etc.) helicase combines with a natural substrate called ATP. “Through the analysis of the structure, scientists can reveal the mechanics of how Zika Virus helicase identifies ATP and catalyzed metal ion.” Yang Haitao said.

In order to explore the distinctions of the replication mechanisms of the Zika Virus and other Flavivirus, the researchers also analyze the complex three-dimensional structure of the combinations of Zika Virus helicase and genomic RNA. They found a kind of channel through which the helicase, is responsible for “seizing” RNA. Surprisingly, Zika Virus experiences a significant conformational change when combined with RNA, which is totally different from the Dengue Virus helicase.

What’s more, the research shows that the Flavivirus helicase has evolved a conserved molecular motor in the evolutionary process, which can convert chemical energy into mechanical energy through hydrolysis of nucleotide triphosphates for the realization of a “chain solution” in the virus replication. Accordingly, with the different “campaign” models, different kinds of virus helicase can identify and combine with genome RNA by different means to meet its needs for viral replication.

Science Daily: http://www.wokeji.com/jbsj/yb/201607/t20160729_2739116.shtml 

  

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