- Scientists find a new hope for a COVID-19 treatment
- Reference: https://www.cell.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0092-8674%2820%2930229-4
- As mentioned above, the spike (S) protein of COVID19 aids its entry into human host. The S protein has two domains S1 and S2. Entry is dependent on the S1 domain of S protein that interacts with ACE2 present on surface of our lungs. It is like a lock and key interaction, where the S1 is the key and ACE2 is the lock. Now next step is to push the door open. For that the virus must fuse with lung cells. Our lung cells have several catalysts called enzymes which viruses use for their own benefit. Transmembrane protease serine 2 also termed as TMPRSS2 (a molecular protein scissor) is used by COVID19. TMPRSS2 cuts the S protein at the S1/S2 and S2 sites which then allows the fusion of the virus and lung cell. Interestingly, Camostat mesylate which inhibits TMPRSS2 has already been approved for human use in Japan but for some unrelated cause (Kawase et al., 2012; Zhou et al., 2015). Thus, in this study using a series of experiments Hoffman and colleagues have nicely demonstrated that COVID19 entry may be prevented by using inhibitors of TMPRSS2.
- Summary by: Tanaya Roychowdhury, Graduate student at Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, India
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