For the last two decades, we have seen three deadly coronaviruses, not really before that, such as SARS CoV-1, SARS CoV-2, and MERS. The world is facing the pandemic warm of COVID-19 and struggling to evade off from its bush. A team of 200 international scientists from 14 leading institutions in six countries started to study the three lethal coronaviruses to find similarities and differences. Although some properties were alike, there was quite that differs. They tried to understand the molecular impact of the viruses, which could help them in the therapeutic aspect.
The researchers ponder over the cellular processes and protein targets of all these coronaviruses. They deciphered the images by using different technical methods like proteomics, biochemical methods, viral imaging. By using software, the team showed the viral protein interaction (interactome), thereby highlighting the molecular targets of these viruses.
The study included more than 20 proteins, which could enable the positive switch of the virus. Interestingly, they found a protein Tom70 on the surface of the outer mitochondrial membrane. This specific protein would interact with the protein Orf9b of SARS CoV-1 and SARS CoV-2 and enhances the production of mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MASP). Altogether, it might trigger an innate antiviral response. In addition to it provides a basement for apoptosis upon viral induction.
These molecules, rather than functioning as an antiviral, can help to identify viral proteins. And so, the study made significance in listing out the host proteins responsible for the replication of viruses. This might pave the way to develop a promising drug, which targets the specific protein. Known with this idea, they analyzed 740,000 COVID-19 patients to find the approved therapeutics to treat the affected patients.
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