VIRUS REPLICATION

Giovanni Maga maga at vetbio.unizh.ch
Wed Apr 3 06:56:10 EST 1996


In article <01I2ZWR57XXK94FWWM at swt.edu>, MC31411 at swt.edu wrote:


> 
> MY QUESTIONS ARE THE FOLLOWING:
>  
>  >DO MITOCHONDRIA HAVE A SYSTEM THAT CAN REPLICATE ITS OWN DNA?

Mitochondrial DNA is replicated by the action of a cellular DNA
polymerase, pol gamma, that is encoded by a chromosomal gene. Mitochondria
do not encode enzymes for DNA replication, since their genome is very
limited.


>  IF YES,
>  >IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A VIRUS TO ENTER A MITOCHONDRIA AND REPRODUCE OR
>  HAS ANY BODY ATTEMPTED TO DO THIS EXPERIMENT?
>  >ARE THERE ANY WAYS THAT RESEARCHERS CAN "INJECT" A VIRUS INTO A 
>  MITOCHONDRIUM?
> 
>  >IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE A VIRUS CONFUSE A MITOCONDRIUM WITH A CELL?


Since viruses enter the target cell by interaction with specific receptors
on the surface of the cell membrane, in order to achieve this, one should
introduce the same receptors on the mitochondrial membrane.

But now some questions: 1) Mitochondria are INTRACELLULAR organelles,
thus, in order to enter them, the virus should also enter the cell before.
2) Mitochondria are quite essential for cell viability, thus even if we
could induce a virus to enter the cell without destroying it and then
enter the mitochondria and replicate, what then? The mitochondria will be
destroyed and we will end up with a whole bunch of viral particles within
a dying cell. Is it an advantage?
I do not think this approach will lead us much further on and probably is
not worth the time necessary to develop it.
My worthless opinion of course.



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