Bound by infection: identifying how COVID-19 interacts with cells

21 Oct 2020

Two international studies have shed light on why the virus that causes COVID-19 is so infectious compared to other SARS viruses.

University of Queensland researchers collaborated with colleagues in the United Kingdom and Europe on the studies, which also showed a way to potentially prevent the virus from infecting cells.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses a protein called Spike to enter host cells by binding to a receptor on human cells, called ACE2, and using it like a doorway to get in.

In a new study published in Science, Dr Giuseppe Balistreri of the University of Helsinki in Finland and Professor Mikael Simons of the Technical University of Munich in Germany collaborated with UQ researchers to show that the virus can also enter cells using another receptor, called neuropilin.

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