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New molecular targets for viral infections’ treatment

H1N1Influenza ANew molecular targetRNA secondary structure

Introduction

The new technique called RAPiD-MaPseq (RNA Antisense Purification of in vivo DMS-modified RNAs followed by Mutational Profiling) is able to identify the mRNA secondary structure of a virus within a living cell. This allows the identification of new molecular targets for the design of new drugs for the early treatment of viral infections, such as the influenza A virus.

Technical features

There is a big difference between in vivo and in vitro in the structure assumed by the mRNA. The RAPiD-MaPseq technique combines chemical RNA structure probing with antisense purification and subsequent structure modeling, and is thus able to obtain information on the RNA secondary structure in vivo. This technique allowed to identify six structural domains in influenza A virus (H1N1) mRNAs. Using targeted disruption of these domains, the inventors demonstrate them to be essential for influenza A virus replication. These structural domains are not subject to changes in the amino acid sequence due to viral recombination and can be considered new molecular targets for the design of new drugs for the early treatment of influenza A.

Possible Applications

  • RNA structure probing within the host cell;
  • Determination of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of viral infections.

Advantages

  • High specificity;
  • In vivo identification of viral RNA secondary structures;
  • RNA secondary structure are not subject to variations in the amino acid sequence of the virus and therefore represent a valid therapeutic target.