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Crystal structure of exonuclease-resistant flavivirus RNA

The crystal structure of an exonuclease-resistant flavivirus RNA could help guide the design of new therapies to treat flaviviral infections. In vitro, an X-ray crystal structure of an exonuclease-resistant Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) virus RNA revealed a ring-like conformation on one of its sides formed by nucleotides 33-49. In a human cell line, infection with MVE viral strains with point mutations that disrupt the viral RNA ring structure eliminated or decreased the formation of subgenomic flavivirus RNA-a marker of pathogenicity-compared with infection with the wild-type virus. Next steps include screening for small molecules that disrupt the activity of flavivirus RNA.

SciBX 7(18); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.542
Published online May 8, 2014

Invention disclosure filed; available for licensing from the University of Colorado Denver
Contact: David Poticha, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colo.
e-mail:

david.poticha@cu.edu

Chapman, E.G. et al. Science; published online April 18, 2014;
doi:10.1126/science.1250897
Contact: Jeffrey S. Kieft, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colo.
e-mail:

jeffrey.kieft@ucdenver.edu