Researchers Find "Hidden Gene" in COVID-19 VirusNovember 11, 2020
Researchers discovered that a new hidden gene in the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 may have contributed to its unique biology and pandemic potential. SARS-CoV-2 only has about 15 genes, and knowing more about this and other overlapping genes--or "genes within genes"--could have a significant impact on fighting the virus, scientists say. The new gene is described in the journal eLife.
The researchers identified ORF3d, a new overlapping gene in SARS-CoV-2 that has the potential to encode a protein that is longer than expected by chance alone. They found that ORF3d is also present in a previously discovered pangolin coronavirus, perhaps reflecting repeated loss or gain of this gene during the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and related viruses. ORF3d has also been independently identified and shown to elicit a strong antibody response in COVID-19 patients, demonstrating that the new gene's protein is produced during human infection.
"Overlapping genes may be one of an arsenal of ways in which coronaviruses have evolved to replicate efficiently, thwart host immunity, or get themselves transmitted," said lead author Chase Nelson, a postdoctoral researcher at Academia Sinica in Taiwan and a visiting scientist at the American Museum of Natural History. "Knowing that overlapping genes exist and how they function may reveal new avenues for coronavirus control, for example through antiviral drugs."
You might also like:
- International Team of Scientists Identify Common Vulnerabilities in COVID-19 and Other Lethal Coronaviruses
- Researchers Engineer Drug-Like Compounds that Disable SARS-CoV-2's Replication Engine
- Most Comprehensive Map of SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Structures Now Published
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a non-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
- Study Identifies "Mother" of all SARS-CoV-2 Genomes; Reveals Earlier COVID-19 Timeline
- Researchers Find "Hidden Gene" in COVID-19 Virus
News from Around the World
- International Online Discourses Provide Global Updates on Animal Gene Editing and Biotechnology
- UN Report Pinpoints Potential Hotspots of Famine
- GM Crops to Boost Food and Nutrition Security in Ghana
- IITA and CIP Awarded Certification in Stewardship Excellence
- 30 Years of Experiments Predict Future for Major Crops
- South Australia Rejects 11 Proposals to Ban GM Crops, Says GM Moratorium's Price Premiums Only a Myth
- Australian OGTR Issues License for Commercial Release of Herbicide Tolerant Cotton
- Invitation to the 3rd Asian Short Course on Agri-biotech, Biosafety Regulation, and Communication
- Cisgenic Potatoes Do Not Disrupt Soil Microsystems
Plant Breeding Innovations
- Genome Editing in Plants using CRISPR Type I-D Nuclease
- Heat Tolerance Gene in Corals Found Using Gene Editing
Subscribe to CBU: