A tug-of-war with corona

1 Apr 2022

How stable are the bonds formed by coronaviruses with human cells? Researchers from LMU have designed a new assay to find out – and to investigate drugs made to prevent the virus from binding.

Most coronavirus infections begin in the mouth and throat, where SARS coronaviruses bind to the human ACE2 receptor before introducing their genetic material into cells. After initial binding to the receptor, however, the viruses are exposed to numerous forces: breathing, coughing, and sneezing, for example, generate air currents through the mouth and nose and can dislodge the viruses from potential host cells. From the perspective of the virus, it is therefore essential that its binding to ACE2 can withstand external forces to enable successful infections.


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