One Mutation and Global Menace
14th July, 2021 Science and Technology
- A single change in a key viral protein may have helped the coronavirus behind COVID-19 make the jump from animals to people, setting the virus on its way to becoming the scourge it is today – Researchers.
- The mutation appears to help the virus’ spike protein strongly latch onto the human version of a host protein called ACE2 that the virus uses to enter and infect cells.
- That ability to lock onto the human cells was stronger with the mutated virus than with other coronaviruses lacking the change.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is an enzyme attached to the membrane of cells located in the intestines, kidney, testis, gallbladder, and heart.
- ACE2 lowers blood pressure by catalyzing the hydrolysis of angiotensin II (a vasoconstrictor peptide) into angiotensin.
- ACE2 also serves as the entry point into cells for some coronaviruses.
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