Friday, October 7, 2022

The carp virus that taught researchers about immunology

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Ten years of analysis on a carp virus has uncovered new views on the mechanisms of motion of mobile proteins concerned in critical pathologies. Credit: Dan Nacu

One of the fascinating points of scientific analysis is definitely the serendipity that comes with it, which is one thing the crew of Prof. Alain Vanderplasschen, virologist and immunologist on the FARAH (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine) of the University of Liège can solely agree with. His crew has simply revealed in Nucleic Acids Research the outcomes of ten years of analysis on the research of an unique protein of a carp virus.

“This scientific project began more than ten years ago when researchers in Lisbon discovered that a carp virus—the Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 or CyHV-3—had stolen a cellular gene coding for a protein domain called Zα during the course of evolution. It is a virus that we know very well here at the University of Liège because we have been studying it for many years,” explains Vanderplasschen.

The Zα area permits proteins that possess it to acknowledge double-stranded DNA or RNA in a uncommon conformation totally different from that described by Watson and Crick in 1953. In truth, the Zα area particularly acknowledges nucleic acids when the double helix reveals a left-handed conformation as a substitute of a right-handed conformation. This Zα area is present in vital proteins of the immune system of many animals together with people.

“These proteins are involved in important and diverse pathological processes such as cancers, genetic diseases and autoimmune diseases. By studying the functions of the Zα domain of the carp virus, we discovered that it possesses properties that were previously unknown for the Zα domains of cellular proteins,” says Vanderplasschen.

Remarkably, by genetically engineering the Zα area of the virus into the Zα domains of mobile proteins from varied animal species and people, the researchers discovered that the brand new properties found for the Zα of the carp virus had been current in some mobile proteins. This research, performed by researchers from ULiège and revealed as we speak, broadens the useful variety of Zα domains and stimulates new hypotheses in regards to the mechanisms of motion of proteins containing Zα domains. It is a discovery that opens new views on the mechanisms of motion of Zα domain-containing proteins concerned in critical pathologies.

Scientists determine mechanism essential for COVID-19 virus replication

More data:
Mamadou Amadou Diallo et al, A fish herpesvirus highlights useful diversities amongst Zα domains associated to section separation induction and A-to-Z conversion, Nucleic Acids Research (2022). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkac761

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The carp virus that taught researchers about immunology (2022, September 23)
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