IIT Mandi reveals key Covid-19 virus protein structure

Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi have revealed the part of structure of a key protein of the COVID-19 virus. This key Covid-19 protein structure will help the researchers in understanding the mode of action of the protein structure & the role it takes in spreading and increasing the severity of the COVID-19 disease.

This key protein structure will also help other researchers and scientists in developing of antiviral therapeutics of the COVID-19 disease.

The current COVID-19 treatments available in the market, only manage the symptoms while the body fights the infection with its own immune defence system. It has not been confirmed yet, that whether the antiviral drugs can stop the virus from replicating. But, one way to neutralise the virus is to attack its protein stems. Thus, this study conducted by IIT Mandi will help in developing agents that can neutralise the proteins of the virus.

COVID-19 virus structure

The COVID-19 virus is made up of 16 non-structural proteins (NSP1 to NSP16). Out of all the structures, NSP1 (also called host shutoff factor) plays an important role in pathogenicity (the ability of the virus to spread and cause disease). NSP1 also disrupts the proteins present in the host cell and suppresses the immune functions of the host.

The SARS‑CoV‑2 virus (Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2) causes COVID-19. It is also known as Coronavirus. Covid-19 disease was declared as Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organisation in the month of January 2020, but later in the month of March 2020 it was declared as a pandemic. The SARS‑CoV‑2 virus is the successor of the SARS-CoV-1 that caused the SARS outbreak in the year 2002 to 2004. This virus has a zoonotic origin (disease that can spread from Animals to Humans) and genetically it is similar to the bat Coronavirus.

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