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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cells expressing the RING finger Z protein are resistant to arenavirus infection.

Arenaviruses include Lassa fever virus (LFV) and the South American hemorrhagic fever viruses. These viruses cause severe human disease, and they pose a threat as agents of bioterrorism. Arenaviruses are enveloped viruses with a bisegmented negative-strand RNA genome whose proteomic capability is limited to four polypeptides: nucleoprotein (NP); surface glycoprotein (GP), which is proteolytically processed into GP1 and GP2; polymerase (L); and a small (11-kDa) RING finger protein (Z). Our investigators have previously shown that Z has a strong inhibitory activity on RNA synthesis mediated by the polymerase of the prototypic arenavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). In this report we show that cells transduced with a replication-deficient recombinant adenovirus expressing Z (rAd-Z) are resistant to LCMV and LFV infection. Virus cell entry mediated by LCMV or LFV GP was not affected in rAd-Z-transduced cells, but both virus transcription and replication were strongly and specifically inhibited, which resulted in a dramatic reduction in production of infectious virus. These findings open new avenues for developing antiviral strategies to combat the highly pathogenic human arenaviruses, including LFV.[1]


  1. Cells expressing the RING finger Z protein are resistant to arenavirus infection. Cornu, T.I., Feldmann, H., de la Torre, J.C. J. Virol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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