Scientists from the University of Washington and other scientific organizations in the United States have revealed the ability of the coronavirus to infect people in a new way. Writes about this Phys.org.
The usual mechanism of invasion of SARS-CoV-2 into the body works as follows: with the help of a spike protein, the virus clings to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on the cell surface and penetrates it. As experts have found out, thanks to the mutation, the coronavirus may not use ACE2 receptors. This discovery shows that the virus is able to change unexpectedly and find new ways to infect the body.
The authors of the study suggested that the coronavirus is under “selective pressure”, which forces it to look for new ways to enter cells, bypassing the standard scheme using the ACE2 receptor. Scientists called this phenomenon frightening.
They clarified that it is still unclear whether such a mutation is possible in real conditions outside the laboratory. According to the researchers, they must find an alternative receptor by which the virus enters the cells. The E484D S mutation remains susceptible to the antibodies of vaccinated patients, although the blood serum of those who were ill was less resistant to this virus, the scientists concluded.