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A protein domain that is present in both plants and animals has a significant function in COVID-19 infection.


The ORNL scientists switched the amino acid in a receptor protein, shown in green, reducing interaction with the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein, shown in red. Mutation of the receptor protein impairs the ability of the virus to infect host cells. Credit: ORNL, US Department of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists exploring plant genetics for bioenergy have made a surprising discovery: a protein domain that could lead to new treatments for COVID-19.

The researchers found the same domain that was studied by ORNL in plants such as poplars and willows, and it is also present in the human NRP1 receptor protein. NRP1 has not been studied for the ACE-2 receptor targeted by current COVID-19 therapies, but this research shows its promise as a future therapeutic target.

By mutating an amino acid called a cysteine ​​residue in the PAN domain of NRP1, the researchers disrupted the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to use the spiky protein to invade cells, as described in iScience. ORNL scientists have also linked PAN to the growth of carcinoid tumors.

“This project provides further evidence that PAN is involved in host cell invasion,” said Wellington Moshiro of ORNL. “By identifying these amino acids, researchers can reduce viral interaction with host cells.”

more information:
Debjani Pal et al, Alteration of new NRP1 interaction sites reduces SARS-CoV-2 protein internalization, iScience (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.106274

Provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory

the quote: A protein domain common to plants and animals plays a role in COVID-19 infection (2023, April 17) Retrieved April 17, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-protein-domain-common-animals-plays . programming language

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