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Description: Structural details of how coronavirus mutants evade the immune response

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A rapidly popular variant of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus The virus carries mutations that allow it to escape part of the immune response created naturally or by vaccination. A new study by Scripps Research scientists and collaborators in Germany and the Netherlands found important details on how these escape mutations work.

Scientists whose studies have been published in science used structural biology techniques to map in high resolution how important classes of neutralizing antibodies bind to the original antibodies. Pandemic The process is driven by mutations found in the SARS-CoV-2 strain — and new mutants first detected in Brazil (P.1), the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.135.1), and India. How it is destroyed (B.1.617).

According to a release published on the Scripps Research website, studies emphasize that some of these mutations are concentrated in a single site called the “receptor binding site” on the viral peplomer. .. Other parts of the receptor binding domain are unaffected.

Scientists have asked how many of the body’s previous immune responses, including antibody responses, are due to the spread of new mutants that can cause disease (perhaps despite vaccination). I think it is urgent to find out how to avoid it.

In this study, researchers focused primarily on three mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 peplomer, K417N, E484K, and N501Y. These mutations, alone or in combination, are found in most major SARS-CoV-2 mutants. All mutations are found at the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding site where the virus attaches to the host cell.

Researchers have tested a major class of representative antibodies that target common areas within and around the receptor binding site. They found that many of these antibodies, in the presence of mutations, lose their ability to effectively bind and neutralize the virus.

Using structural imaging techniques, the team then mapped the relevant parts of the virus at atomic-scale resolution to see how mutations affect the site where the antibody binds to and neutralizes the virus. ..

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The findings show that while the antibody response to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding site is very potent in neutralizing the original Wuhan strain, certain mutants can escape and perhaps eventually It suggests that you need the latest vaccines.

At the same time, this study found that the three major viral mutations in which SARS-CoV-2 appears to be inherently prone do not alter other vulnerable sites of the virus outside the receptor binding site. I emphasize it. Researchers have demonstrated that virus-neutralizing antibodies that target two other regions outside the receptor binding site are largely unaffected by these three mutations.

This provides broader protection against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants by future vaccine and antibody-based therapies inducing or utilizing antibodies against the viral portion outside the receptor binding site. It suggests that it can be done. Researchers have pointed out that if the virus spreads in a population, widespread protection against mutants may be needed.

Source: Scripps Research

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