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Targeting cap1 RNA methyltransferases as an antiviral strategy.

Cell chemical biology

Authors: Yuta Tsukamoto, Manabu Igarashi, Hiroki Kato

Methylation is one of the critical modifications that regulates numerous biological processes. Guanine capping and methylation at the 7 position (mG) have been shown to mature mRNA for increased RNA stability and translational efficiency. The mG capped cap0 RNA remains immature and requires additional methylation at the first nucleotide (N1-2'-O-Me), designated as cap1, to achieve full maturation. This cap1 RNA with N1-2'-O-Me prevents its recognition by innate immune sensors as non-self. Viruses have also evolved various strategies to produce self-like capped RNAs with the N1-2'-O-Me that potentially evades the antiviral response and establishes an efficient replication. In this review, we focus on the importance of the presence of N1-2'-O-Me in viral RNAs and discuss the potential for drug development by targeting host and viral N1-2'-O-methyltransferases.

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

PMID: 38091983

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