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Researchers have identified potential target for antiviral treatment for COVID-19

Researchers have identified potential target for antiviral treatment for COVID-19
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NEW YORK: Researchers have identified a possible target for antiviral treatment for COVID-19 by assessing the overall mechanism by which the novel coronavirus enters host cells, and comparing it with the process seen in other similar viruses. The researchers, including those from Cornell University in the US, compared the molecular sequence of small proteins involved in the fusion of the novel 

coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, and the SARS virus behind the 2002-03 epidemic, with the host cell membrane.

In the study, published in the journal Antiviral Research, they found that the virus that causes COVID-19, and the SARS virus had a 93 per cent similarity.

The scientists assessed the intricate procedure of membrane fusion in the viruses, which they said is a critical part of the mechanism by which coronaviruses spread.

Membrane fusion, they explained, is a multi- ..According to the scientists, this process is followed by a piece of the spike protein, called the fusion peptide, interacting directly with the host cell membrane and facilitating merging to form a fusion pore, or opening.

They said the virus then transfers its genome into the host cell through this pore, and eventually hijacking the host cell's machinery to produce more viruses.

In the study, the research team found that charged atoms of calcium interacting with the fusion ..



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