A new model of anti-viral response in mammals is presented in Nature. The research demonstrates that microRNAs (miRNAs), activated by interferon, can help fight hepatitis C in mammals, showing for the first time that they are active in mammalian virus responses.
Scientists know that plants and invertebrates use RNA silencing, through miRNAs, in the battle against viral infection. Here Michael David and colleagues show that eight miRNAs, rapidly encouraged into action by interferon (IFN)-beta, have specific targets within the hepatitis C virus. When synthetic copies of these miRNAs are introduced the antiviral effect on hepatitis C is replicated, but when these same molecules are neutralized IFN-beta has less antiviral force.
Michael David (University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA)
(C) Nature press release.
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