Cracking molecular processes

A Science paper by 200 researchers. The authors from six countries uncovered molecular processes used by coronaviruses MERS, SARS-CoV1 and SARS-CoV2 to manipulate host cells. They found 73 human proteins with which components of all three types of the virus enter into bonds and thus influence the survival of infected cells in culture. Host factors that functionally impinge on coronavirus proliferation include Tom70, a mitochondrial chaperone protein that interacts with both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b. The consortium also discovered cell surface molecules that are influenced by all three coronaviruses and that bind to already approved drugs, for example an antipsychotic and an anti-inflammatory drug.

Gordon DE, Hiatt J, Bouhaddou M, et al. (Total: 200 authors) Comparative host-coronavirus protein interaction networks reveal pan-viral disease mechanisms. Science 2020, published 15 October. Full-text:

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