Certain viruses like Ebola, rabies, and respiratory viruses can cause serious illnesses in both humans and animals, leading to significant health and economic challenges worldwide. These viruses rely on a specific protein called L polymerase for their replication. Researchers studied the Ebola virus as an example and discovered that the L polymerase’s replication process is influenced by a particular sequence at the end of the virus’s genetic material. This sequence helps the polymerase make copies of the virus’s genetic material efficiently. By examining the detailed structure of the L polymerase interacting with this sequence, scientists identified important points where potential antiviral drugs could target to inhibit the virus’s replication. These findings provide valuable insights into how these viruses replicate and suggest new possibilities for developing antiviral medications.
Peng, Q., Yuan, B., Cheng, J. et al. Molecular mechanism of de novo replication by the Ebola virus polymerase. Nature (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06608-1