Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dr Ruscetti: RNase L is the key enzyme of the antiviral pathway, and it is a promising marker in ME/CFS

Marlène Robin, 10 juni 2011:

RNase L turns out to be a candidate prostate cancer gene on chromosome 1q24-25 (HPC1)

=> XMRV is a human retrovirus and is similar to HIV and HTLV-1. It was first identified by Dr. Robert Silverman, in prostate cancer tissue of men with a specific genetic defect in their antiviral defense pathway. (

What is the link with ME/CFS?
RNase L is one promising marker that is consistent with an activated immune system in CFS.

The first studies of RNase L in individuals with CFS were initiated because the clinical symptoms associated with CFS could often be explained by a persistent viral infection or immune suppression, particularly in those patients who experience acute onset. Viral infection of cells results in the production and secretion of cytokines, including the interferons. Interferons control the way cells respond to a virus through a group of inter-related enzymes that comprise an antiviral defense pathway. This pathway is known as the 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetase/RNase L pathway.

Antiviral pathway abnormalities

The status of the RNase L pathway is measured in humans by sampling peripheral blood mononuclear cells (lymphocytes). RNase L is the key enzyme of the antiviral pathway, and it is designed to degrade viral RNA. While RNase L is found in nearly all mammalian cells, it has to be "turned on" by a small molecule, 2-5A.

Binding of 2-5A to RNase L changes the enzyme from its inactive (latent) state to its active state. Read more>>

See also: RNase L enzyme dysfunction in CFS

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