SARS-CoV-2 protease cuts human proteins; Possible link to COVID-19 symptoms

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Sumary of SARS-CoV-2 protease cuts human proteins; Possible link to COVID-19 symptoms:

  • The SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro) plays an essential role in processing viral proteins needed for replication..
  • Viral enzymes called proteases recognize specific amino acid sequences in this polyprotein and cut them to release individual proteins..
  • However, some human proteins also contain these sequences (known as homologous host-pathogen sequences, or SSHHPS), including ones involved in generating the innate immune response, which could help protect the virus from the host..
  • Patricia Legler and colleagues wanted to comprehensively identify human proteins that contain SSHHPS, examine their functions and see whether PLpro can cleave them in a test tube..
  • The researchers developed a computational method to search a database of all known human proteins for sequences similar or identical to the SARS-CoV-2 SSHHPS..
  • The analysis revealed that the proteins with highest sequence identity were those that had cardiovascular, inflammatory, kidney, respiratory or blood-related functions..
  • For example, two of the proteins containing SSHHPS were cardiac myosins, one was an anti-coagulant and another was an anti-inflammatory protein..
  • Inactivation of these proteins by PLpro is consistent with COVID-19 symptoms of heart damage, blood clots and inflammation….

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