12 May '16
Biochemists in Novosibirsk, in Siberia, are looking for agents that are capable of suppressing the development and propagation of orthopoxviruses, a family of pathogenic viruses potentially dangerous to human beings, portal Science in Siberia .
To achieve the goal, a research team led by Grigory Mechetin at the local Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine is studying mechanisms of how viral DNA repairs itself.
Repairing mechanisms are active in all living cells. They help fix DNA damages caused by all sorts of external “aggressors.” In a living organism, it’s special enzymes that perform this function. One of these, DNA glycosylase, can patch up DNA mutilations by sort of “riding” the DNA, checking it for impairments in the process. It also interacts with another important enzyme, DNA polymerase, which reproduces a new viral DNA.
Now the Siberian scientists are looking into the possibility to find substances that could hinder that “riding.” A special enzyme has already been synthesized. Marchmont will be following the team’s progress.