Researchers distinguish cell structure that may assume basic job in coronavirus replication

Researchers distinguish cell structure that may assume basic job in coronavirus replication


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: PTI

  • Date: 08 Aug,2020

Scientists have identified a structure in host cells which the novel coronavirus likely uses to synthesise elements that will be assembled into completely infectious germs, an advance that might lead to the development of new medications against COVID-19.

The analysis, published in the journal Science Advances, uncovers a coronavirus-specific structure in cells, which might work as a goal for much-needed antiviral strategies from the family of viruses.

According to the scientists, such as those in the Leibnitz Institute of Experimental Virology at Germany, coronaviruses replicate their big genomes in the host cell’s cytosol — the jelly-like material in which the components of the mobile are suspended.

They said the viruses replicate by altering host cell membranes into peculiar double-membrane vesicle (DMV) structures.

In the present study, they noted that the newly made viral genetic material, its RNA molecule, has to be exported from these DMVs into the cytoplasm to be packed into complete, infectious strains of this virus.

So far, however, they said no openings into the cytosol are detected from the DMV replication compartments.

Seeking to know how viral RNA is exported from sealed DMVs, the scientists, Georg Wolff and his coworkers, used a potent microscopy technique known as electron tomography to visualise the middle phase of infection of a cell from mouse hepatitis coronavirus.

They said this virus has been used instead of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 due to biosafety constraints for such electron microscopy studies.

The scientists also discovered a coronavirus-specific crown-shaped structure — a molecular pore spanning both DMV membranes — that likely plays a part during RNA release in the compartment.

Then using pre-fixed samples of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells, they showed that the arrangement can also be found in SARS-CoV-2-induced DMVs.

According to the researchers, this structure might be a generic complicated with a pivotal role in the coronavirus replication cycle, facilitating the export of newly synthesised viral RNA from the DMVs to the cytosol.

“Although the exact mode of function of this molecular pore remains to be elucidated, it may provide a general coronavirus-specific drug target,” the scientists noted.

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