According to the physicist organization network reported on the 9th, British and American scientists worked together to create the first model of a new coronavirus spike protein, revealing how the virus disguised itself and sneaked into human cells without being discovered. The researchers said that spike protein is the target of antibody and vaccine research, and this latest discovery provides important information for the development of a new coronavirus vaccine.
There are many protruding spike proteins on the surface of the new coronavirus, which the virus uses to attach to and enter human cells. Spike proteins are wrapped in glycans, and these glycans are like “shields” that can cover viruses and help them avoid the body’s immune system.
In the study, a team led by Professor Max Crispin of the University of Southampton studied the structure of glycans covered on the surface of a spike protein mimic and plotted the structure of these glycans.
Chris Ping said: “Using sugar coating to wrap yourself, the virus is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But our latest research found that despite having a lot of sugar coating, this coronavirus is not highly shielded like some other viruses. “
Crispin explained that viruses like HIV will hover around the host, they must constantly evade the attack of the immune system, and they have a dense glycan coat as a “shield” to respond to the attack of the immune system; but the new coronavirus is different The lower density of the sugar coating may reflect that it is a “hit and run” virus that can be passed from person to person. But the low density of glycans also means that the immune system has fewer obstacles to neutralizing viruses with antibodies. This is encouraging information for vaccine development.
The Jason McClellan team at the University of Texas in the United States also participated in this study. In February of this year, the McClellan team and others reconstructed the 3D structure of the spike protein on the surface of the new coronavirus based on the viral genome sequence provided by Chinese researchers, with a resolution of 0.35 nanometers.
The team is currently working with the team developing candidate vaccines. For example, the team of Professor Roger Sanders of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands is working on analyzing the glycan content on the surface of the spike protein. The researchers said that evaluating the glycan content on the immunogen helps to understand the immune response of the virus to candidate vaccine .