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Virus is a Signal for the Host Cell

AuthorsGómez, Jordi; Ariza-Mateos, Ascensión ; Cacho, Isabel
KeywordsMolecular struggle
Issue Date17-Jul-2015
AbstractCurrently, the concept of the cell as a society or an ecosystem of molecular elements is gaining increasing acceptance. The basic idea arose in the 19th century, from the surmise that there is not just a single unit underlying an individual’s appearance, but a plurality of entities with both collaborative and conflicting relationships. The following hypothesis is based around this model. The incompatible activities taking place between different original elements, which were subsumed into the first cell and could not be eliminated, had to be controlled very closely. Similarly, a strong level of control had to be developed over many cellular elements after the cell changed its genome to DNA. We assume that at least some of those original RNA agents and other biomolecules which carry incompatibilities and risks, are retained within current cells, although they are now under strict control. A virus functions as a signal informing these repressed cellular RNAs and other elements of ancient origin how to restore suppressed degrees of molecular freedom, favoring pre-existing molecular affinities and activities, re-establishing ancient molecular webs of interactions, and giving fragments of ancient coded information (mostly in the form of RNA structural motifs) the opportunity to be re-expressed. Collectively, these newly activated mechanisms lead to different possibilities for pathological cell states. All these processes are opposed by cell-control mechanisms. Thus, in this new scenario, the battle is considered intracellular rather than between the virus and the cell. And so the virus is treated as the signal that precipitates the cell’s change from a latent to an active pathological state.
Publisher version (URL)http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12304-015-9245-0
Appears in Collections:(IPBLN) Artículos
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