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Nervous system transmits mRNA like a virus
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During these difficult days, an interesting scientific breaktrough feels just like a good mojito cocktail on the beach. People around the world are focusing on Covid-19 and watching how the virus is spreading everywhere. Everybody knows a virus can infect people but there is something else too.

The nervous system can also transmit mRNA between cells like a virus! Retrovirus Gag (group-specific antigen gene) polyprotein mediates capsid formation to pack and transfer viral genomes into the cytoplasm of newly infected cells.

Two teams (Pastuzyn et al., 2018; Ashley et al., 2018) used single-particle cryo-electron microscopy to visualize the viral capsids. They presented a high-resolution structural representation of Arc (activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein) capsids, enabling deeper analysis of their function.

Source: Pastuzyn, E. D. et al. Cell 172, 275–288.e18 (2018). , Ashley, J. et al. Cell 172, 262–274.e11 (2018)



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