Researchers from Oxford University have developed the molecular structure of a protein that’s very important for the survival of the flu virus. Recently published in Nature, they followed several different techniques to look at the association of atoms within a protein that the human fever virus uses to make new replicas of its genetic information. Without this multifunctional protein, called a polymerase, the flu virus cannot survive.
An essential finding of the study is that the polymerase can exist in two forms, a monomer and a dimer. It is when the polymerase dimerizes that certain functions are switched on. The analysis team noticed a particular region of the protein formed the dimeric structure of the polymerase, and when the area was disrupted, the polymerase could not work.
This finding presents a brand-new method of potentially inhibiting the flu virus, which implies scientists may produce new drugs and flu therapies in the future.
Structural biology has been used to understand essential human diseases for many years. By understanding mobile interactions on a molecular level, it’s possible to search out treatments and cures. However, scientists, yet lack plenty of structural information for a lot of functionally essential proteins.
The protein that encourages this copying is the viral RNA polymerase which mimics the viral RNA genome and makes RNA templates for protein synthesis.