March 29, 2020
Researchers from the King George’s Medical University in Lucknow have discovered that the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has new sites in the proteins in its outer layer1. The virus, they say, utilises such novel sites to rapidly infect host cells – a potential factor that probably played a part in the ongoing pandemic.
They have also shown that the novel coronavirus is structurally close to the SARS coronavirus, suggesting that the inhibitors designed to disrupt the SARS-CoV proliferation inside the host cells may also be used as a therapy for the latest novel coronavirus.
Scientists, led by Shailendra K. Saxena, sequenced the genes that encode the spike (S) proteins in the outer layer of two strains of coronaviruses isolated from the seafood market of Wuhan, where the novel virus first emerged. They then compared the S protein-coding genes of the novel coronaviruses with those of different strains of SARS-CoV that usually infects bats.