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Scientists have discovered multiple mutations and unique proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 genome




IISc, Bangalore, researchers said genomic sequencing of viral strains is necessary to track mutations that occur constantly

This study shows that when attacked by a virus, the host (in this case the human body) produces its own protein to fight off intruders. | Representative photos

A new IISc study found several mutations and unique proteins in isolates of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

A study by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore was published in the Journal of Proteome Research.

This study shows that when attacked by a virus, the host (in this case the human body) produces its own protein to fight off intruders. To better understand how the virus is mutated and its protein biology (proteins are made using genetic information), the IISc team, led by professor of biochemistry, Utpal Tatu , SARS-CoV- Conducted a comprehensive protein genome survey. Two isolates.


Isolates or virus samples were recovered from the nasal secretions of consented COVID-19-positive individuals.

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Genome analysis was performed using what molecular biologists like Tatsu call next-generation sequencing (NGS). This is a technology that enables rapid sequencing of the entire genome.

He states that sequencing the genomes of viral strains around the world is important because it helps track constantly occurring mutations.

According to his team’s analysis, there are 27 mutations in the genomes of the three Bangalore isolates, with more than 11 mutations per sample, above both the national and global averages (8.4) and 7.3.

To understand the history of virus epidemics and evolution, the team used sequence data to build a global phylogenetic or association tree of virus isolates.

Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Bangalore isolates are most closely associated with those in Bangladesh.

The statement also showed that Indian isolates did not evolve from a single ancestral mutant, but had multiple origins, the statement said.

Read again: Efficacy, Receptivity, Production: COVID Vaccine Formula for Success

The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes more than 25 proteins, but only a handful of proteins have been identified so far.

“Study of viral proteins provides functional information that is not currently well represented,” says Tatsu.

In proteomics analysis, his team detected 13 different proteins, most of which were previously unidentified from clinical samples.

“One such protein called Orf9b, which suppresses the host’s immune response, was predicted, but the IISc team provided the first evidence of its expression,” he said.

“It’s not enough to know how the virus works. It needs to be placed in the context of the host,” says Tatu.

Therefore, in the third analysis, his team investigated how our body responds to the virus by examining host proteins.

They discovered as many as 441 proteins specific to COVID-19-positive patients. Many are speculated to play an important role in the body’s immune response.

Proteomics analysis was performed using a technique called high-resolution mass spectrometry.

The team is bright about the potential this method has for large-scale testing.

Proteins can be reliable markers for infections such as COVID-19 because they are more abundant and stable compared to RNA molecules on which common RT-PCR tests depend.

Sheetal Tusir, a PhD student and lead author of the treatise, said: [hope to] In this century, we see the use of mass spectrometry as the basic method of diagnosis. “

(With input from PTI)

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