Taiwanese research team discovers possible coronavirus inhibitor

04/26/2021 10:27 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.

Taipei, April 26 (CNA) A research team from Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) said it has confirmed that that a protein that protects the lungs against pathogens called human surfactant protein D (SP-D) has the potential to thwart the COVID-19 virus.

The discovery, made by the team led by NCKU Professor Wang Jiu-Yao (王志堯), was published by Frontier in Immunology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, on April 20, 2021.

A statement from NCKU cited the research team as saying that human SP-D is a molecule whose presence on mucosal surfaces of the lungs plays "an immune surveillance role against pulmonary pathogens."

According to the team, patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-1 (SARS-CoV) have been reported to have higher levels of serum SP-D, known to also be a biomarker for pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Studies have suggested that serum SP-D can recognize the spike proteins -- the protrusions of a virus that give it entry into host cells -- of SARS-CoV and interact with the human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E) strain to inhibit viral infection in humans.

Previous studies have also found that a recombinant fragment of human SP-D (rfhSP-D) can act against a range of viral pathogens, including Influenza A virus, according to the school's statement.

Given those past findings, the research team decided to examine whether rfhSP-D could protect against the COVID-19 virus, and its results were positive.

According to the team, it found that the rfhSP-D protein did bind to the S1 spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, and was able to inhibit interaction of the S1 protein with test cells with Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors, which are the receptors through which SARS-CoV2 enters host cells.

The same conclusion was reached when the rfhSP-D showed had the same protective effect on cultured cells expressing ACE2 that were infected by lab-created pseudoviruses, called pseudo typed lentivrial particles, the statement said.

The results highlight the therapeutic potential of rfhSP-D in SARS-CoV-2 infection and merit further study, the statement said.

(By Chang Jung-hsiang and Emerson Lim)

Enditem/J/Is

    0:00
    /
    0:00
    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.