Architecture of Viral RNA Helicases; HCV Helicase as Antiviral Target
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Around 80% of known viruses comprise of RNA and its specific RNA helicases that are vital for most RNA metabolism includingpre-mRNA splicing, translation,initiation, and ribosome biogenesis. The viral helicases are crucial for theviral genome to replicate in thehostas well as emerge as antiviral targets. With these vital properties, viral helicases have recently arisen as novel targets for the curing viral infections. DExH box protein (DECH variant) in HCV NS3 resembles SF2 family helicases which remarkably show high sequence similarity to Vaccinia virus nucleoside triphosphate phosphohydrolase II (NPH-II) as well as Plum pox virus (PPV) RNA helicase (DECH variant) cylindrical inclusion is a DExH box that consists of the Potyviridae polyprotein domain (PP). In this review, we highlight the importance of such motifs in theunderstanding of viral helicases with implications in inhibition properties. Strategies are discussed to identify novel inhibitors that would block these motifs, leading into probably new kind of antiviral compounds. Due to alimitation in treatment options including 1) interferon resistance and 2) the presence of high rate of resistance in antiprotease inhibitor classes, the helicase and anti-helicase targets for alternate attractions.
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