Zika Virus Degrades Essential Protein
Researchers at the University of Maryland's new study shed new light on how Zika virus hijacks our own cellular machinery to break down an essential protein for neurological development, getting it to 'eat itself'. Mechanistically, the Zika virus NS2A interacts with KPNA2 and leads to the reduction of the KPNA2 protein level.
Published on September 28, 2020, this study found through the process known as autophagy, that KPNA2 is degraded via the CMA pathway and that ZIKV infection enhances KPNA2 degradation.
This process may contribute to the development of neurological or brain deficiencies and congenital birth defects in the newborns of infected pregnant women.