Science

In defence mode: this is how Zika virus protects key parts of its genome

In defence mode: this is how Zika virus protects key parts of its genome

To fight viruses, cells can deploy defence enzymes that progressively destroy viral genome. However, this degradation mechanism is not effective against epidemic viruses like Zika. In fact, the defence enzyme jams at precise points of the viral genome, which assumes a “defensive” conformation. This is how the virus succeeds at protecting important pieces of its RNA inside infected cells, as demonstrated by a recent study coordinated by SISSA and published in Nature Communications.

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