An essential weapon in the body’s fight against infection has come into sharper view. Researchers have discovered the 3-D structure of an enzyme that cuts to ribbons the genetic material of viruses and helps defend against bacteria. The discovery of the structure of this enzyme, a first-responder in the body’s “innate immune system,” could enable new strategies for fighting infectious agents and possibly prostate cancer and obesity. “This work illustrates the wonderful usefulness of doing both crystallography and careful kinetic and enzymatic studies at the same time,” said one scientist.
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