Neuropilin-1 drives SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, finds breakthrou
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In a major breakthrough an international team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has potentially identified what makes SARS-CoV-2 highly infectious and able to spread rapidly in human cells.

In this breakthrough study published in Science, the research groups used multiple approaches to discover that SARS-CoV-2 recognises a protein called neuropilin-1 on the surface of human cells to facilitate viral infection.

Team explained:

• "In looking at the sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein we were struck by the presence of a small sequence of amino acids that appeared to mimic a protein sequence found in human proteins which interact with neuropilin-1."

• "This led us to propose a simple hypothesis: could the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 associate with neuropilin-1 to aid viral infection of human cells?"

• "Excitingly, in applying a range of structural and biochemical approaches we have been able to establish that the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 does indeed bind to neuropilin-1.

• "Once we had established that the Spike protein bound to neuropilin-1 we were able to show that the interaction serves to enhance SARS-CoV-2 invasion of human cells grown in cell culture."

• "Importantly, by using monoclonal antibodies or a selective drug that blocks the interaction we have been able to reduce SARS-CoV-2’s ability to infect human cells. This serves to highlight the potential therapeutic value of our discovery in the fight against COVID-19."

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This could possibly be breakthrough in developing targeted drug reducing the invasive property of virus thereby reducing the severity of COVID-19.
Oct 21, 2020Like3