Influenza virus attaches to its nucleic acid pieces of cellular nucleic acids, so the result in the cell are synthesized by the hybrid cell-viral proteins.
The virus is introduced into the host cell its genetic material (i.e. DNA molecules or RNA), in addition, many viruses are injected into the cell some proteins, which help reverse cellular processes in favor of the virus. But what does it mean to pay in favor? The virus must somehow convince the cell to start synthesizing viral proteins. The protein-synthesizing apparatus is a huge molecular complexes called ribosomes, plus a variety of other molecules, enzymes, ancillary proteins that control protein synthesis, transfer RNA which is transported to the ribosome amino acids. And all of them are engaged in the production of cellular proteins rather than viral.
The flu virus “in the cut” under the electron microscope. (Photo: Sanofi Pasteur / Flickr.com)
As you know, any protein encoded in the DNA. But with the DNA of the protein-synthesizing apparatus can not operate, therefore, between the DNA and the protein molecule is RNA – matrix, or information, of RNA which is copied a piece of information from DNA. Ribosomes and RNA work we can, and sit on a molecule of mRNA, starting to gather her protein according to the genetic code. But to get a correct protein, the ribosome must assemble it from the beginning, is quite obvious. That is, in RNA, the ribosome needs to land there, where starts the code of a protein.
To the ribosome of the village in the beginning, not the middle and not the end, of the RNA in our cells specially marked on its, so to say, the front end is a special label of the molecular beacon, called a cap. The ribosome with a whole set of auxiliary proteins comes to this cap (and then drove some distance before the start of the protein code, because the beginning code is not close to the cap, and a little distance).
As the virus to distract attention from the cellular protein-synthesizing apparatus? From cellular RNA to tear off a piece with a label-a beacon that attracts the ribosome, and attach this label to their RNA. Some viruses, e.g. the influenza virus or the Lassa fever virus – and do. Get a hybrid RNA: it starts with a small piece of cellular code that continues long viral sequence. Previously it was thought that ribosomes, sitting down at the beginning of such a hybrid RNA, flow cell part and begin to synthesize the viral protein already.
However, researchers from the Medical center the mount Sinai hospital, together with colleagues from the UK found that along with the normal viral proteins in the cells appear and the hybrid protein molecules. That is, the protein-synthesizing apparatus, sowing on hybrid RNA, often does not ignore the cellular part, and synthesizes a piece of cellular protein, which is stitched with the virus. That is, viruses don’t just steal a piece of cellular code – they, so to speak, embody. And pieces the cell code composed of viral nucleic acid can be packaged into new viral particles and change from one viral generation to the other.
These hybrid proteins, the researchers called UFO, that is Frankenstein Upstream Open reading frame overlying francescana open frame reader. Why frankensteinia, of course – in honor of the famous monster, which Dr. Frankenstein assembled from the body parts of different people. Open frame reader is, in a nutshell, and quite roughly, the plot in the code, indicating the start of protein synthesis, the overlying – because the start of protein synthesis on the hybrid RNA begins before the actual viral code. UFO-proteins found in cells with influenza A virus, however the authors do not exclude that the same UFO can be found with other viruses of the same type as the flu virus.
It’s also possible that the fusion proteins contribute to the pathogenicity of the virus, that they can somehow interact with the immune system, strengthening immune response. In fact, in an article in Cell it is said that T-lymphocytes react to UFO-proteins of influenza A virus, but how it affects overall on the immune reaction in the course of the disease and the condition of the body, will be clear only after further research.
Not only viruses we steal pieces of the genetic code, but we sometimes steal the virus code, sometimes in the form of a virus. These are viruses that are built into our DNA and become inactive, and subsequently, our cells adapt viral genes to fit their needs, in particular, we wrote how the dormant viral sequences in the DNA of immune cells and help them to start the synthesis of antibodies, and that the human embryo is literally under virus protection.