An international team of scientists conducted a scientific study, according to the results of which they identified a way to prevent infection and severe course of COVID-19. An article of relevant content appeared on the pages of Science.
Scientists managed to identify a special structure in the coronavirus S-protein. To study it, electron cryomicroscopy was used, which allows the pathogen to literally decompose into atoms. This compound is known in the scientific community as the “spike protein”. It sits on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 and binds to the ACE2 receptors, allowing the virus to enter the body, causing tissue damage. As a result, it was possible to create a three-dimensional model of the protein structure, which contains the so-called “pocket”. As it turned out, it contains a linoleic acid molecule. It is involved in most cellular processes, including affecting the appearance of inflammatory reactions and provoking a severe form of coronavirus.
Scientists are confident that the discovery will allow them to find small molecules that can block the discovered “pocket”, destroying the structure of the S-protein and making it absolutely safe. A similar strategy has been used against the cold-causing rhinovirus, so the authors of the scientific work have no doubts about its success.