Corona: The body protein itself can be used therapeutically
A causal treatment for COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 is not currently possible. But researchers are now one step closer to a potential corona treatment. They have discovered a protein that is naturally produced in the body that can be used therapeutically.
There is still no specific treatment that can treat SARS-CoV-2 infection. Treatment is symptom-based and aims to relieve discomfort. But researchers are now reporting an endogenous protein that weakens the Corona virus and can be used in treatment.
Antiviral proteins produced by the body
Researchers at the University of Ulm studied what proteins and peptides that the antiviral body possesses and that humans store, which help fight the new Corona virus.
Scientists have come across alpha 1 antitrypsin. to me Message This protein has an antiviral effect by inhibiting a specific cellular enzyme (TMPRSS2), which in turn is necessary for the activation of the viral spin protein of SARS-CoV-2.
Effect: Viruses cannot penetrate the target cell and therefore cannot spread further.
Stand up to viral hackers
As indicated in the communication, the human being is not completely defenseless against Coronaviruses. This is ensured not only by the pathogen’s own immune defense, but also by the many intrinsic proteins that stand up to the viral intruders.
Scientists from the Institute for Molecular Virology at Ulm University Hospital have now discovered that this includes the protein alpha1-antitrypsin (α1AT).
To do this, researchers examined the lung lavage fluid for antiviral proteins in the body. According to the information, a so-called bronchial lavage was performed for this purpose, in which the body’s secretion or mucus from the alveoli is “washed out” for analysis and diagnostic purposes.
Experts isolated the proteins and peptides in this fluid and examined whether they prevented cells from becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Inhibits intercellular proliferation
“We came across a very distinct protein: Alpha 1 antitrypsin,” explains Professor Jan Munch of the Institute for Molecular Virology at Ulm University Hospital, who conducted the study published in the journal.Nature CommunicationsIt was published and coordinated.
The α1AT protein is known in biology and medicine as an “acute phase protein”. These include special proteins that appear frequently in infections and tissue injuries. Alpha 1 Antitrypsin has many anti-inflammatory properties in this context.
“But even in the absence of inflammation, Alpha 1 Antitrypsin helps reduce immune collateral damage in tissues by keeping certain proteases under control,” explains Lukas Wettstein, PhD student and first author of the study.
Proteases are specific enzymes that break proteins into peptides and their main building blocks, amino acids, the experts explain. Alpha 1 Antitrypsim has an antiviral effect by inhibiting TMPRSS2. Protease helps SARS-CoV-2 spread
The so-called serine membrane protease 2 (TMPRSS2) is a molecular protein scissor. This helps SARS-CoV-2 to infect cells. TMPRSS2 was already known to play a role in activating the spike protein, which the coronavirus uses to “cling to” cells.
The research team has now managed to experimentally prove that Alpha 1 Antitrypsin inhibits the membrane serine protease 2 and thus reveals its anti-viral effect. To do this, Ulm scientists treated both human colon cancer cells and primary lung epithelial cells with α1AT and then infected them with SARS-CoV-2. It was found that α1AT inhibits viral infection and intercellular proliferation.
The therapeutic potential is great
“Our research shows that the body protein alpha1 antitrypsin can help the innate immune system keep coronaviruses under control and prevent them from reproducing,” explains Karina Kunzelman and Tatjana Weil, who conducted the experiments in the high-security laboratory. . According to experts, the therapeutic potential of the experimental results is great.
“There are already alpha-1 antitrypsin drugs that are given for α1AT deficiency diseases,” Ulm University researchers said, “These drugs could be used in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 in a short time.” This approach is certainly promising, and the clinical trials to be conducted are already underway.
Scientists believe that “body-specific proteins such as α1AT not only strengthen our innate immune system, but they can also be used therapeutically in fighting the epidemic.” (ad)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.
- Ulm University: Body protein weakens the corona virus, alpha 1 antitrypsin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 by stopping the virus’s coenzyme, (Accessed: March 20, 2021), Ulm University
- Lucas Wittstein, Tatjana Weil, Karina Kunzelmann, Janis A. Muller, Rüdiger Gross, Maximilian Hirschenberger, Alina Seidel, Susan Klot, Fabian Zick, Katrina Prielie-Puzo, Nico Pressing, Giorgio Voyes, Robavin Luschbaum, Kneipp Thal Maximilian Standker, De Schumann, Stephen Stinger, Alexander Kliger, Günther Luschnet, Benjamin Meyer, Yasser P. Ruiz Blanco, Marcus Hoffmann, Konstantin MG Sparer, Stefan Pullman, Elsa Sanchez Garcia, Frank Kirchikoff, and Münch: alpha-1 antitrypsin and TMPRSS2 protease inactivation SARS-CoV-2; In: Nature Communications, (Published: March 19, 2021), Nature Communications
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-medication. He cannot replace a visit to the doctor.
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