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Viruses - Articles and news items

viral rna

Study finds mobile phones used by hospital staff harbour viruses

Industry news / 21 June 2016 / Victoria White, Digital Content Producer

A study from University Hospital of Saint-Étienne in France reveals that mobile devices are often also contaminated by viral RNA…

Tiger Mosquito

Virus-carrying mosquitoes are more widespread than ever

Industry news / 30 June 2015 / Victoria White

Scientists behind the first global distribution maps of two species of dengue and chikungunya-carrying mosquitoes warn they are spreading to new areas…


ORYX’s oncolytic parvovirus H1 successfully completes Phase I/IIa trial to treat glioblastoma multiforme

Industry news / 12 June 2015 / Victoria White

ORYX’s Phase I/IIa trial assessing oncolytic parvovirus H1 as a treatment for patients with glioblastoma multiforme has been successfully completed…


Is the Ebola virus a real threat for Europe and the US?

Industry news / 6 August 2014 / Frost & Sullivan

“The Zaire Ebola virus causes a highly contagious and lethal hemorrhagic fever leading to the death of the infected individuals…”

FIGURE 1miRNAs can impact viral infection directly by interacting with viral genes or indirectly by regulating host genes that play a role in the infection. miRNAs are derived from transcripts that contain stem-loop structures which get recognised and processed by a series of enzymes to generate the short (~22 nt) duplex RNA. One strand of the duplex is preferentially incorporated into the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) and guides this complex to mRNAs or other viral elements that contain regions of complementarity to the miRNA

microRNA manipulation as a host-targeted antiviral therapeutic strategy

Genomics, Issue 6 2011 / 13 December 2011 / Nouf N. Laqtom, University of Edinburgh & King Abdulaziz University and Amy H. Buck, University of Edinburgh

microRNAs (miRNA) are a class of non-coding RNA that regulate the precise amounts of proteins expressed in a cell at a given time. These molecules were discovered in worms in 1993 and only known to exist in humans in the last decade. Despite the youth of the miRNA field, miRNA misexpression is known to occur in a range of human disease conditions and drugs based on modulating miRNA expression are now in development for treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammatory diseases. In the last six years, an increasing number of reports have also illuminated diverse roles of cellular miRNAs in viral infection and a miRNA-targeting therapy is currently in phase II clinical trials for treatment of the Hepatitis C virus. Here we review the literature related to miRNAs that regulate viral replication and highlight the factors that will influence the use of miRNA manipulation as a broader antiviral therapeutic strategy.

microRNAs (miRNA) are a class of small noncoding RNA that bind to messenger RNAs (mRNA) and regulate the amount of specific proteins that get expressed. These small RNAs are derived from longer primary transcripts that fold back on themselves to produce stem-loop structures which are recognised and processed by Drosha and co-factors in the nucleus followed by Dicer and co-factors in the cytoplasm, resulting in a ~ 22 nucleotide (nt) duplex RNA, for review see1,2. One strand of the duplex is preferentially incorporated into the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) where it then mediates binding to target mRNAs. These interactions lead to decreased protein getting produced from the transcript, due to RNA destabilisation and/or inhibited translation3 (Figure 1). miRNA-mRNA recognition generally requires perfect complementarity with only the first 6-8 nt of a miRNA, termed the ‘seed’ site4. Each miRNA therefore has the potential to interact with hundreds of target mRNAs3,4 and the majority of human protein-coding genes contain miRNA binding sites under selective pressure5. Therapeutic interest in miRNAs has been supported by studies in model organisms demonstrating key functions of individual miRNAs in cancer, cardiac disease, metabolic disease, neuronal and immune cell function6.


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