Researchers Identify Proteins That Contribute To The Pathoge
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Researchers have narrowed down the proteins enabling SARS-CoV-2 to cause disease. Using advanced genetic engineering techniques developed at Texas Biomed, they systematically deleted the genetic code for five of the virus's accessory proteins, one at a time, to see how each one affected the virus's ability to spread and cause illness.

They found two proteins that seem to contribute most to the virus's pathogenicity, or ability to cause COVID-19 disease. When individually lacking those proteins, the virus did not replicate as much as the natural virus in cells, suggesting they play a critical role in its spread. In contrast, spread was not significantly reduced when the other proteins were deleted.

The research relied on several advanced genetic tools, including the K18 hACE2 transgenic mouse model for studying COVID-19 first tested with SARS-CoV-2 at Texas Biomed, and the reverse genetic approaches to engineer recombinant SARS-CoV-2, also developed at Texas Biomed by virologists Chengjin Ye, Ph.D. and Luis Martinez-Sobrido, Ph.D., who led the research.

"Reverse genetics approaches are the most powerful tools in modern virology to study a virus," said Dr. Martinez-Sobrido, a Professor in the Disease Intervention & Prevention program. "It allows us to do things that we cannot do with the natural virus, such as editing, adding or deleting parts of the virus genome."

Usually, DNA is translated into RNA, which then goes on to make proteins. With reverse genetics, the researchers start with SARS-CoV-2, which is an RNA virus, they turn it into DNA, which they can edit. This is not currently possible with RNA. The edited virus complementary DNA copy can then be introduced into susceptible cells to generate recombinant viruses. This work is done in biocontainment labs for maximum safety and security.

Dr. S●●●●p N●●h
Dr. S●●●●p N●●h Internal Medicine
Lol...just blabbering. No information given at all regarding the virulence factor 🤣
Jul 1, 2021Like