Experts find druggable pocket in COVID-19, could lead to new antivirals
Category: #headlines  By Nikita Chaurasia  Date: 2020-09-23
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Experts find druggable pocket in COVID-19, could lead to new antivirals

An international team of scientists, which was led by the University of Bristol, has reportedly discovered a druggable pocket in SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) Spike protein which can potentially be utilized to prevent the virus from affecting human cells.

As per credible sources, the results can prove to be revolutionary in overcoming the pandemic since it can lead to new anti-viral drugs which target the druggable pocket in the virus.

The experts used electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM), a powerful imaging technique, to assess SARS-CoV-2 Spike at an atomic level, cited sources with knowledge of the matter. The team used Oracle Corporation’s cloud computing technology and developed a 3D structure of the virus in order to study its molecular structure.

If sources are to be believed, the research team have found linoleic acid (LA), a small molecule, concealed in a tailored pocket within the Spike protein, which is a free fatty acid and is not produced by the human body. In fact, linoleic acid plays an important role in immune modulation and inflammation, which are key aspects for coronavirus disease progression.

In this context, Christiane Schaffitzel, Professor from Bristol’s School of Biochemistry, was reported stating that researchers had previously discovered that tampering with LA metabolic pathways can result in acute respiratory distress syndrome, systemic inflammation and pneumonia. She added that these pathologies are found in patients with severe COVID-19 and a recent study of such patients has shown reduced levels of linoleic acid in their sera.

It is to be noted that a similar strategy was used for rhinovirus, a virus that leads to common cold. A similar pocket in the virus was used to produce potent small molecules which helped in distorting the structure and the infectivity of the rhinovirus.

In other news, leading firms including Moderna Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer Inc., have reportedly pledged to not seek government approval before understanding the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Source- https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-discovery-druggable-pocket-sars-cov-spike.html

https://www.deseret.com/u-s-world/2020/9/7/21424213/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-pfizer-johnson-johnson-moderna

 

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Nikita Chaurasia     twitter

Nikita Chaurasia

Having always been daft at wordplay, Nikita Chaurasia, post the completion of post-graduation, commenced her journey into the content generation cosmos. Endowed with a professional MBA degree in Advertising and Public Relations, Nikita strives to integrate her creativ...

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