Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

US Scientists Have Discovered An Enzyme That Helps Coronavirus To Penetrate Human Cells

US Scientists Have Discovered An Enzyme That Helps Coronavirus To Penetrate Human Cells

An enzyme that promotes the penetration of the coronavirus into the cells of the human body, American scientists have discovered. As reported Friday by the UPI News Agency, citing a study published in the specialized publication Nature Communications, the enzyme, designated NSP-16, serves as a kind of "camouflage" for the virus, "forcing" cells not to perceive its RNA as foreign.

"The virus uses this pathway to enter cells and simultaneously protects its structure while continuing to develop in the body," explained study co-author, biochemist Yogesh Gupta of the University of Texas medical center in San Antonio. Researchers were able not only to find out the function that the NSP-16 enzyme performs but also to create a three-dimensional model of it. Further studies of the enzyme, according to scientists, will open the possibility of creating drugs that could target COVID-19.

"Our work allows us not only to get more information about how to move along this path but also to develop new antiviral drugs in the future," the expert said, expressing hope that such drugs could block the "camouflage" of NSP - 16 so that the immune system perceives the coronavirus as a foreign body and prevent its spread in the body.

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