Cristina Romero-Lopez

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a central role in the regulation of multiple biological processes including the maintenance of stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency. Recently, the miRNA cluster miR302-367 was shown to be differentially expressed in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Unfortunately, very little is known about the genomic structure of miRNA-encoding genes(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) translation initiation depends on an internal ribosome entry site (IRES). We previously identified an RNA molecule (HH363–10) able to bind and cleave the HCV IRES region. This paper characterizes its capacity to interfere with IRES function. Inhibition assays showed that it blocks IRES activity both in vitro and in a human hepatoma(More)
The discovery 20 years ago that some RNA molecules, called ribozymes, are able to catalyze chemical reactions was a breakthrough in biology. Over the last two decades numerous natural RNA motifs endowed with catalytic activity have been described. They all fit within a few well-defined types that respond to a specific RNA structure. The prototype catalytic(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) protein synthesis is mediated by a highly conserved internal ribosome entry site (IRES), mostly located at the 5' untranslatable region (UTR) of the viral genome. The translation mechanism is different from that used by cellular cap-mRNAs, making IRESs an attractive target site for new antiviral drugs. The present work characterizes(More)
The RNA genome of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) contains multiple conserved structural cis domains that direct protein synthesis, replication, and infectivity. The untranslatable regions (UTRs) play essential roles in the HCV cycle. Uncapped viral RNAs are translated via an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) located at the 5' UTR, which acts as a scaffold(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV), the major etiological agent of transfusion-associated non-A, non-B hepatitis, is a severe health problem affecting up to 3% of the world population. Since its identification in 1989, enormous efforts have been made to characterize the viral cycle. However, many details regarding the virus' penetration of hepatocytes, its replication(More)
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA genome contains multiple structurally conserved domains that make long-distance RNA-RNA contacts important in the establishment of viral infection. Microarray antisense oligonucleotide assays, improved dimethyl sulfate probing methods and 2' acylation chemistry (selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation and primer extension, SHAPE)(More)
The RNA genome of hepatitis C virus (HCV) contains multiple conserved structural RNA domains that play key roles in essential viral processes. A conserved structural component within the 3' end of the region coding for viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (NS5B) has been characterized as a functional cis-acting replication element (CRE). This study reports(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the world's major health problems, and the identification of efficient HCV inhibitors is a major goal. Here we report the isolation of efficient anti-HCV internal ribosome entry site (IRES) RNA molecules identified by a new in vitro selection method. The newly developed procedure consists of two sequential steps(More)
OBJECTIVE The use of small RNA molecules able to effect gene inactivation has emerged as a powerful method of gene therapy. These small inhibitory RNAs are widely used for silencing malignant cellular and viral genes. We have assayed a series of inhibitory RNAs named catalytic antisense RNAs, consisting of a catalytic domain, hairpin or hammerhead ribozyme,(More)