A substance longHR2_42 has been created that can suppress all variants of SARS-CoV-2, biologists from the International Biophysical Society reported. Scientists used a portion of the S-protein of the coronavirus envelope. The scientists’ findings are published in the journal PNAS.
“The S-protein molecules in viable coronavirus particles consist of two parts, a short and a long one, which form the complex necessary for virus entry into cells. We synthesized an analog of the short molecule, which penetrates the S-protein and prevents the virus from infecting cells,” said Professor Axel Brunger of Stanford University.
The S-protein is a spiky outgrowth on the surface of the virus membrane, which is how SARS-CoV-2 penetrates human and other mammalian cells. This is why most vaccines target the S-protein of the virus.
The new drug affects the heptad potentate HR1HR2, this part of the protein plays a critical role in the process of virus penetration into human cells. The drug causes HR1HR2 to fuse with a scientifically modified version of the HR2 peptide, which suppresses the reproduction of the pathogen in the body.
In addition, HR1HR2 is almost unchanged as SARS-CoV-2 evolves, so the drugs acting on it are effective against all strains of the pathogen, including Omicron.
Scientists are now conducting experiments with mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. Future applications of the drug by inhalation are anticipated. This will prevent severe respiratory symptoms.