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Ribozymes-Based Anti-monkeypox Drug Discovery Solutions
Introduction to Monkeypox Virus
Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus of the family Poxviridae and has several pathogens known to infect humans. MPXV contains a single, linear piece of double-stranded DNA with highly conserved central regions and more variable terminal ends. Human infection with this virus results in monkeypox, a systemic lesional disease with a prodrome period of flu-like symptoms (fever, malaise, chills, headache, etc.) followed by the development of a progressive maculopapular rash which expands in a centrifugal pattern and progresses from papules to vesicles to pustules and finally to crusts.
Fig.1 African woman with classical rash of monkeypox virus infection with deep seeded lesions on arms, and palms. (Weaver,2008)
Since the first discoveries of catalytic RNA (ribozymes) by Cech and Altman, several classes of ribozymes have been identified from various organisms and viruses. The discovery of ribozymes significantly widened the horizon of RNA-based functions in natural systems. Ribozymes can be divided into two categories according to their catalytic reactions, shear ribozymes, and splice ribozymes. The splicing ribozyme seems to be the most promising because of its splicing mechanism and molecular structural requirements. It can be artificially designed against viral nucleic acids, undesirable genes, or malignant genes, synthesizing corresponding various RNA or DNA fragments as ribozyme genes, directionally cutting viral nucleic acids or undesirable genes and their transcriptional intermediates, inhibiting their expression, and treating diseases.
Ribozymes-based Anti-Monkeypox Drug Discovery Solutions
The principle of ribozyme action is that the specific sequence of ribozyme recognizes and binds to specific target RNA through complementary base pairs. According to this characteristic, ribozyme molecules targeting a certain RNA can be artificially designed to destroy viral transcription products. Using this method, scientists have conducted a lot of research on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, tumors, reproductive system diseases, and other diseases in recent years.
In Creative Biolabs, scientific researchers in our team have designed appropriate ribozymes to block the expression of specific genes. In the study of monkeypox, ribozymes can be designed and specifically cleave MPXV pregenomic RNA, deprive it of template activity, inhibit or block MPXV replication, and reduce the chance of mutant virus escape.