JACOPIN / BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JACOPIN / BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of a cell infection by an IRES (Internal Ribosomal Entry Site) virus, and the its treatment. The Hepatitis C virus is an RNA virus, carrying an IRES sequence. In the case of infection (top), the IRES sequence (red) of the viral RNA (yellow) enables it to latch onto the small cellular ribosome unit that contains RACK1 protein (blue square). The ribosome will synthesize the viral proteins instead of the cellular proteins. The virus replicates itself and infection spreads through the body. During treatment (at the bottom), the RACK1 protein is eliminated and the ribosome carries on translating the cellular RNA. The viral RNA can no longer use it to synthesize its own proteins; the virus cannot spread.
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