NewsDifferent than previously thought: is Corona a completely different...

Different than previously thought: is Corona a completely different disease?

Corona was previously thought to be a cold virus due to its symptoms. Researchers now come to the surprising finding that everything is different.

Corona is everywhere. For more than a year, the virus has kept the whole world trapped in a pandemic. But now researchers have gained completely new knowledge about Covid-19. Because until now, science has assumed that the coronavirus causes a respiratory disease. As * now reports, however, a new study by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California shows that the so-called spike proteins of Sars-CoV-2 probably suggest a different thesis.

The spikes, or “spikes” of the coronavirus, are proteins on the virus shell and are now very well known, at least externally, because they give the Covid-19 virus its typical shape. The spike proteins are also always discussed when it comes to the particular risk of infection by the virus. Because they help with the transfer. But that’s not all. The research group at the Salk Institute has now discovered another property of the spines.

Corona: Research bang – a completely different disease than expected

The scientists published an article in the journal Circulation Research at the end of April. In it they show that Sars-CoV-2 “damages and attacks the vascular system at the cellular level”. Therefore, the researchers are now classifying Covid-19 as a completely different disease. “Many people think it’s a respiratory disease, but it’s actually a vascular disease,” said Uri Manor, one of the study’s authors, in a Salk Institute press release.

This thesis of the research group is intended to explain how it can be that a corona infection can bring so many different symptoms * with it, such as strokes. According to Manor, however, they all have in common that there are vascular foundations, i.e. those relating to blood vessels.

Covid-19: Corona is not a respiratory disease at all – what is behind it

The scientists at Manor have been following this trail for a while now. For their study, they created what is known as a “pseudovirus” that was surrounded by the classic Sars-CoV-2 crown made of spike proteins, but does not contain an actual virus inside. In the animal model, this pseudovirus damaged the lungs and arteries even without the actual virus. The researchers take this as evidence that the spike protein alone is enough to cause disease.

Tissue samples finally showed that the pseudovirus had caused inflammation in the so-called endothelial cells that line the walls of the pulmonary artery from the inside, so the researchers carried out further tests and experiments. They showed that the spike protein can bind the enzyme ACE2.

ACE2 is mainly produced by cells in the lungs, where it can act as an entry point for the virus on the cell surface. In the researchers’ experiments, the bond with the Sars-CoV-2 virus disrupted the molecular signal transmission from ACE2 to the mitochondria – and these were damaged and fragmented as a result.

Corona: New findings about spike protein – further research needed

Earlier studies showed a similar effect when cells were exposed to the coronavirus, but this is the first scientific work that shows that serious damage occurs if cells only come into contact with the spike protein – themselves when the replication capabilities of the virus are undermined. “Simply because of its ability,” explains Manor.

If the replication abilities of the virus are removed, it still has a great damaging effect on the vascular cells, simply due to its ability to bind to this ACE2 receptor, the S protein receptor, which is now known thanks to Covid.

Uri Manor, co-author of the study at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California

In addition, the scientists at the Salk Institute now want to continue researching the spike proteins – especially with regard to corona mutants *. Because “Studies with mutated spike proteins will also provide new insights into the infectivity and severity of the mutated Sars-CoV-2 viruses”

As a next step, the researchers from California want to take a closer look at the mechanism that disrupts the ACE2 protein and thus damages the mitochondria. Perhaps this approach – in addition to the corona vaccination campaign * – can help to finally get the pandemic under control and to heal sick people faster and better. * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.

Rubriklistenbild: © CDC / Alissa Eckert, MSMI; Dan Higgins, MAMS

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