They identify a new coronavirus protein that opens the door to new treatments

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Currently the main aim of treatments and vaccines against COVID-19 is to attack the “spike” protein on the surface of the coronavirus, which gives it its characteristic spiky appearance, but a new study has identified another potential “weak point” of the virus. has been identified.

The study, carried out by scientists from the University of Geneva, its counterpart in Barcelona and University College London, The first of these research centers said in a statement that it has discovered a protein in the coronavirus, named NSP1, to which new therapies could be directed.

“This small protein selectively blocks our ribosomes, the cells’ ‘factories’, making them unable to be used and thus suppressing the immune response while stimulating the production of viral proteins,” explained the scientists at the university. stops.”

Nsp1 would be one of 16 known non-structural proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19, essential for its reproduction.

To study it, universities have carried out simulations with algorithms and subsequent experimental evaluation techniques and X-ray crystallography to confirm that it could be a target for future drugs.

The experts tested whether different molecules could bind to target proteins and thus serve as a potential vehicle for new therapies, They found one in particular, 5-acetylaminoindane, which had great potential, the statement said.

The study stresses that these advances can be used for new forms of coronavirus that threaten to prolong the pandemic. but also against other similar viruses, since the methods used to discover the protein may find others with potential therapeutic use.

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