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REVIEW: Development of Methodology for Analyzing RNA Structure and Its Application in Molecular Biology and Virology

S. K. Vasilenkoa,b

State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology Vector, 630559 Koltsovo, Novosibirsk Region, Russia

Received June 20, 2019; Revised July 27, 2019; Accepted August 5, 2019
The review covers three independent blocks of research. The first one is discovery, isolation, and investigation of snake venom RNases and their use in studying RNA macrostructure. It has been established that snake venom RNases are not specific to the primary RNA structure but rather to the RNA helical conformation (double, single, or hybrid helix). Snake venom RNases hydrolyze RNA to short oligomers with the 5′-terminal phosphate. Analysis of the kinetics and products of tRNA hydrolysis exemplifies the use of snake venom RNases for deciphering RNA macrostructure. The second block is devoted to the principle formulated by the author for analyzing the primary structure of nucleic acids and describes the method of direct RNA sequencing that has been developed with author’s participation. The third block describes the results of genotyping and etiologic control of epidemic influenza A viruses circulating in the Soviet Union in 1968 to 1992. The method for comparative analysis of genome sequences of viral isolates has made it possible to detect and characterize epidemic influenza virus strains that had emerged in the circulation as a result of reactivation of inactivated vaccines.
KEY WORDS: snake venoms, ribonuclease, RNA, macrostructure, primary structure, molecular virology

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297919110014