Coronavirus makes changes that cause cells not to recognize
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With an alarm code, we can enter a building without bells going off. It turns out that the SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has the same advantage in entering cells. It possesses the code to waltz right in.

On July 24 in Nature Communications, researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
reported how the coronavirus achieves this.

The scientists resolved the structure of an enzyme called nsp16, which the virus produces and then uses to modify its messenger RNA cap.

"It's a camouflage," the scientist said. "Because of the modifications, which fool the cell, the resulting viral messenger RNA is now considered as part of the cell's own code and not foreign."

Deciphering the 3-D structure of nsp16 paves the way for the rational design of antiviral drugs for COVID-19 and other emerging coronavirus infections, scientist said.

The drugs, new small molecules, would inhibit nsp16 from making the modifications. The immune system would then pounce on the invading virus, recognizing it as foreign.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200724104157.htm
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