Fundamental discovery made in the fight against coronavirus

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Covid-19 coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) can penetrate into human cells not only through the ACE2 receptor, like a number of other viruses, but also through another protein.

This fundamental discovery was made by Chinese molecular biologists from the Fourth Military Medical University (Xi’an) and the Institute of Biotechnology (Beijing), the results of their research they published in the bioRxiv electronic scientific library.

“We know well that the virus uses the ACE2 receptor to enter the body. However, since it is often found in the cells of the heart, kidneys and genitals, the fight against the virus through this protein can negatively affect these organs. We have isolated another receptor whose molecules are attacked by a virus. This expands the potential arsenal of means to suppress infection,” the scientists write.

As it turned out, the causative agent Covid-19 uses the protein receptor CD147. Guided by new knowledge, Chinese experts processed a culture of lung cells with antibodies that block the work of CD147 and tried to infect them with a new coronavirus. It turned out that even relatively small concentrations of synthetic antibodies completely blocked the spread of the virus.

Later, by observing infected cells with an electron microscope, scientists confirmed that the envelope of the virus could fuse with CD147. These results suggest that already created drugs that protect people from malaria and SARS can help fight the Covid-19 epidemic.

As EADaily reported , a new type of coronavirus belongs to the same group of viruses as SARS and MERS, the causative agents of SARS and Middle Eastern fever.

Over the past ten years, they have claimed the lives of several hundred people in the Middle East and East Asia, as well as repeatedly causing epidemics, spreading through camels and poultry. The original carrier of the Covid-19 virus was bats, then information appeared about pangolins and snakes.

To date, more than 169 thousand cases of infection with a new coronavirus have been registered in the world, about 6.5 thousand infected have died, over 77 thousand people have recovered. Outside of China, the disease was detected in 148 countries.


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