The novel corona virus has been a concern of researchers around the world for months. They are working feverishly on ways to contain the virus and thus the pandemic. And it seems that an international research group now has the “Achilles heel of the infected cells” can locate.
That explains at least the molecular biologist Nevan Krogan, researcher at the “University of California in San Francisco”. He is leading a study recently published in the specialist magazine Cell appeared. And the special thing about this study: The researchers were able to prevent the proliferation of coronaviruses with seven already approved drugs that are administered for cancer.
Corona viruses form cell tentacles
In the study the researchers describe how the virus can quickly jump from one cell to the next. It manipulates already infected cells with proverbial tentacles that resemble spaghetti. These should then pierce the shells of neighboring cells. Further pathogens can penetrate the cells through the holes.
The molecular biologist Nevan Krogan is certain that this will allow the infection to advance as quickly as is currently the case. The holes that cause the tentacles could infect several cells at the same time. To understand this process, the experts carefully examined the proteins of an infected cell.
To do this, they compared a total of 332 human proteins with other proteins that are formed in a “Covid-19” infection. They used so-called “phosphorylation”. Small molecules are linked together. The goal of this approach: The activity of the viruses is regulated, a crucial indicator in processes such as growth, division and aging of the cells. According to the experts, “phosphorylation” is controlled by certain enzymes. These control entities are called “kinases”, a kind of control center for the cell.
Understand the corona spread to contain it
The activity of “casein kinase 2” was particularly clear. This shows the way through a cell, which in turn influences the growth of the cell skeleton. Further analyzes made it clear: The virus literally hijacked “casein kinase 2” and forced the cells to form the tentacles.
With this basic understanding of viral spread, Krogan’s research team also found out what kind of medication against the virus could be successful. According to the researchers, a total of 87 drugs were able to inhibit the “kinases” modified by “Sars-CoV-2”. Seven of them have even been approved and thoroughly tested. The rest are currently being tested in clinical studies. As a result, the experts hope to be able to target the virus “Sars-CoV-2” in a targeted manner, just like they do in the specialist magazine Sciencemag describe. For example, it would be possible to inject a molecule that hides the point of attack of the virus protein.