New discovery of the mechanism of spread of Covid-19

The ACE-2 receptor acts as a key for corona virus to invade cells and multiply and then cause disease. Graphics: Biomol.
The ACE-2 receptor acts as a key for corona virus to invade cells and multiply and then cause disease. Graphics: Biomol.

The corona virus uses a 4 times stronger spine protein Sars combined with ACE-2 receptors in the human body to spread and attack the patient’s respiratory system.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota in the US have created a 3D map of the coronary proteins of corona virus used to attach to cells in the human body.

The new study unravels an important biological mechanism that may have helped corona virus spread rapidly from person to person worldwide, the Guardian reported.

Research shows that the spiny protein group of the new strain of corona virus is four times stronger than the corona virus that caused the Sars epidemic in 2002. That means that droplets containing corona virus are inhaled by humans through the nose or mouth. attaches to cells in the upper respiratory tract without causing infection to establish a foothold.

The scientists used X-ray crystallography to create an atomic 3D map of the spiny protein of the corona virus and its counterpart on human cells, called the ACE-2 receptor.

When the virus encounters a human cell, its proteins attach to the ACE-2 receptor, if the human cell possesses them and allows the virus to enter the cell and multiply.

This study showed that the Spike protein of the new strain corona virus has the ability to bind more effectively to ACE-2 proteins on the surface of human cells, acting as a gateway for viruses to enter the cell. This improvement allows the virus to infect more effectively into the throat and nose.

Dr Fang Li, who led the research, said the new 3D structure shows that compared to the corona virus that caused the Sars outbreak in 2002-2003, the new strain of corona virus has developed new strategies to link binding to human receptors, resulting in tighter binding.

Close association with the human receptor can help the virus to penetrate into human cells and spread from person to person stronger. The virus map will be used by scientists to search for potential drugs that can neutralize the virus before it replicates and causes infection.

“If a new antibody drug is able to bind to sites on the virus more strongly and more frequently in receptors, it will push the virus out of the cell, making it an effective treatment for the virus.” with viral infection. The model could be used to develop a vaccine to prevent future infections, ”Dr. Li said.

In an article in the journal Nature, the researchers describe how they continue to compare the structure of the Covid-19 pandemic virus and related virus strains found in bats and pangolins. They found that both animals use the same ACE-2 receptor on the human body.

This explains why coronavirus spreads to humans directly from bats, or through pangolins that have been infected by bats, before infecting humans. The animals used by corona virus have created important mutations that allow the virus to spread more easily among humans.

“We know that the corvid virus corona virus Covid-19 works very differently than the coronavirus Sars. In particular, Covid-19 effectively infects the throat and nose, causing cold-like symptoms, while Sars always spreads from the lungs, ”said virologist Professor Jonathan Ball, University of Nottingham, who was not involved. said the researcher.