It is very difficult to penetrate and destroy viruses due to their protective protein cover which protects them. That is why they are so potent and harmful .
Tackling this problem, scientists at the Institut de Virologie Moléculaire et Structurale (IVMS) and the Outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Grenoble have found a solution. They have deciphered a detailed structural picture of a protein that allows the rabies virus to be harmful and stay as such against human immune response and survive and replicate in our cells.
When the rabies virus enters a human cell through the membrane, the RNA molecule that carries its genes is transported into the centre of the cell. Here it redirects the cellular machinery of the host to produce many new copies of the virus that go on to infect more cells. One molecule that is crucial in this process is a viral protein called nucleoprotein. The protein ensures that on its way through the cell the virus RNA is not destroyed by the immune response of the host.