How do variants attach to cells? UCLouvain researchers lift the veil on the issue

Concretely, a team of scientists from UCLouvain, led by Prof. David Alsteens, observed that the variants, in particular the Kappa variant, adopt a new strategy to bind more efficiently to the cells they wish to invade. “Rather than increasing the strength of their binding to a specific location of our ACE2 receptors – the main gateway for the coronavirus into our cells, they multiply the small bonds over a larger area. The result: the ‘global’ binding of the variant to cells is more stable “, we can read in the press release.

“It’s a bit as if the original strain of SARS-CoV 2 binds to our cells using a push button and the variants have instead opted for a scratch system where every little binding is is not as strong as that of the pressure button but, together, all these small bonds generate a very stable interaction of the variants with our cells “, illustrated the researchers of this study, published in Nature Communications.

No need to adapt vaccines

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