Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a severe pulmonary infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus. To develop an effective and specific medicine targeting the SARS-coronavirus (CoV), a chimeric DNA-RNA hammerhead ribozyme was designed and synthesized using a sequence homologous with the mouse hepatitis virus (MHV).
Chimeric DNA-RNA hammerhead ribozyme targeting MHV and SARS-CoV were designed and synthesized. To confirm its activity, in vitro cleavage reactions were performed with the synthesized ribozyme. Effects of the chimeric ribozyme were evaluated on multiplication of MHV. Effects of the chimeric ribozyme on expression of SARS-CoV were evaluated in cultured 3T3 cells.
The synthetic ribozyme cleaved the synthetic target MHV and SARS-CoV RNA into fragments of predicted length. The chimeric DNA-RNA hammerhead ribozyme targeting SARS-CoV significantly inhibited multiplication of MHV in DBT cells by about 60%. The chimeric DNA-RNA hammerhead ribozyme targeting SARS-CoV significantly inhibited the expression of SARS-CoV RNA in 3T3 cells transfected with the recombinant plasmid. The chimeric DNA-RNA ribozyme targeting SARS-CoV significantly inhibited MHV viral activity and expression of recombinant SARS RNA in vitro.