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A little question about an idea

FARRELL_LARRY farrlarr at cwis.isu.edu
Thu Oct 13 15:55:50 EST 1994

In article <reon.1.000CA662 at infruit.agric.za>,
Reon Brand <reon at infruit.agric.za> wrote:
>How about a "disarmed retrovirus" that encodes an antisense mRNA copy of the 
>receptor protein for a particular retrovirus.  Could this protect cells 
>against infection?
Receptors do not exist solely for the use of viruses that might "want" to 
infect a given cell.  Overall, one could safely say that the receptor 
existed on the cell for some cellular purpose and the virus evolved to 
utilize that receptor for it's own purposes (ability to attach to and, 
therfore, infect the cell).  If you introduced a gene that coded for an 
antisense mRNA so that the receptor could not be produced, you would 
probably screw up the cell royally.  While that would (at least 
hypothetically) prevent the virus from reproducing in that cell and/or 
that person, thus preventing transmission to others and playing a role in 
bringing the outbreak/epidemic with that virus to a halt, it seems 
unlikely that anyone would volunteer for the possibly drastic effects to 
themselves that would likely result.

Larry D. Farrell, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology
Idaho State University

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