A new way to understand how SARS-CoV-2 infects human cells

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Scientists have made an important discovery that could explain why SARS-CoV-2 is so infectious. It’s about the spike protein of the virus and its interactions with a protein on the surface of human cells called . SARS-CoV-2 gets access to the human cells via a receptor called ACE2. Now, researchers have found a secondary receptor that the SARS-CoV-2 uses to infect cells – . Professor Peter Cullen, Dr Yohei Yamauchi, and Dr Boris Simonetti from the University of Bristol in the UK discovered that SARS-CoV-2 effectively “tricks” the protein to penetrate and infect the human cell.

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The researchers have developed a potential anti-viral treatment that could, in theory, dramatically reduce the viral infectivity of SARS-Cov-2. In fact, this will potentially be a new way for vaccine approach. This is a major breakthrough and a surprise, because before this new research, no one suspected that neuropilin-1 could be a door for SARS-CoV-2 to enter the nervous system. . PIKFyve kinase and CD147 – two proteins—have also been shown to bind Spike and facilitate viral entry.