The coronavirus continues to claim victims all over the planet. A team of scientists appears to have found the weakness of SARS-CoV-2 that could be exploited to treat COVID-19 more effectively.
Researchers from the Federal Polytechnic University of Zurich (Switzerland) have discovered a method capable of slowing down protein production, which could decrease reduce the replications of COVID-19 in infected cells.
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The finding is based on the fact that cells produce proteins using so-called ribosomes, which synthesize them by reading RNA. However, if it is a contagion, a virus needs to contain a genetic code reading as a frame shift. In this case, the ribosome can only read one or two — instead of all three — letters of RNA.
Like other viruses, the coronavirus needs these abnormalities in order to reproduce. This means that ensuring that ribosomes read RNA correctly can exclude the virus from entering cells and therefore multiplying in the human body. This method can significantly weaken the virus if it is already in cells.
To date, there is no 100% effective COVID-19 medicine. Instead, scientists around the world focus on vaccine development. However, the study’s authors state that the finding allows to create an effective drug for this disease. During the experiment, they managed to reduce virus replication three to four times.
European scientists stress that this method will also allow precise control of the calculation of viral proteins at different stages of infection.
The full text of the study has been published in the journal Science.
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