Chaperones Aren’t Just for the Prom: Key Step In Viral Replication Identified

Viruses are cellular parasites that reproduce themselves by hijacking the machinery of the cells they infect. We have significant knowledge regarding cell infection and virus reproduction of themselves within cells, but scarce is our understanding of the final stages of protein folding and virus construction. However, according to SciTechDaily, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have published a report in Nature Microbiology revealing how the proteins of the common, normally harmless reovirus, are properly folded by the cell to produce the final viruses. 

The key is the common chaperonin protein complex, TriC. A given protein can potentially fold multiple ways, but the chaperonins help proteins in the cell to fold properly. In fact, it helps fold up to 10% of all the cell’s proteins, including important proteins such as cellular cytoskeleton proteins and cell cycle regulators. TriC is highly conserved across species, indicating its importance in proper protein folding and function. This conserved structure also suggests that TriC might be a common protein for viruses to use. 

The TriC helps the reovirus’s outer capsid proteins to fold such that they can assemble into virus particles capable of being released from the cell to infect new cells. Given the central role of TriC in properly folding reovirus proteins, scientists may find ways to inhibit the folding process. However, given the central importance of TriC as a chaperonin for 10% of the cell’s proteins, therapies must be conducted carefully to avoid damage to the cells themselves. 

Whether new therapies can be developed or not, understanding the roles of chaperonins like TriC is an important step to understanding the virus lifecycle. The more we understand about how viruses take over the cellular structure, the closer we are to understanding how to therapeutically fight these miniscule cellular parasites.

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!

Latest

How Teach for America Brings Diversity in Education to Houston Schools
August 12, 2022
Teach for America has been a cornerstone in creating more educators for the nation. The nonprofit founded in 1989 operates in more than two dozen regions across the country and introduces commitment Read more
The Tips Restaurants Need to Avoid Scammers and Extortionists
August 12, 2022
If restaurants didn’t already have enough to deal with during this pandemic, scheming scammers have cooked up an elaborate plot to target them with negative reviews. According to CBS News, there’s Read more
US Inflation Forecasts Marked Higher for 2023, Survey Shows
August 12, 2022
(Bloomberg) -- Economists boosted their inflation estimates for each quarter in 2023, a potentially worrying sign for Federal Reserve policymakers trying to keep price expectations anchored. The personal Read more