21 June 2024
COVID receptor protein made in mouse cells

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COVID receptor protein mouse cells made large quantities SARS-CoV-2 binds human cells first step infection study receptors potential use study complex proteins difficult produce other means.

COVID Receptor Protein in Mouse Cells: Novel Approach for Studying and Combating the Virus



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Introduction:

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented attention to the intricate world of viruses and their interactions with human cells. At the heart of this interaction lies the ACE2 receptor, a protein found on the surface of human cells that serves as the entry point for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Understanding the COVID receptor protein and its role in viral infection is critical for developing effective treatments and vaccines.

Groundbreaking Research:

A team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and Columbia University has achieved a remarkable feat: they have successfully produced large quantities of the human COVID receptor protein in mouse cells. This breakthrough opens up new avenues for studying the receptor, potentially leading to the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostic tools for COVID-19.

Overcoming Challenges:

Producing functional membrane proteins like the COVID receptor protein in non-human cells is a challenging task. The complexity of the protein’s structure and the need for specific modifications, such as the addition of carbohydrate molecules, make it difficult to replicate in simpler organisms like bacteria.

Utilizing Mouse Cells:

The researchers turned to mouse cells as a more suitable host for producing human COVID receptor protein. Mouse cells are capable of performing the necessary modifications to the protein, ensuring its functionality. Additionally, mouse cells are known to readily accept and express foreign genes, making them ideal for this research.

Intact Gene Approach:

To increase the chances of successful gene expression, the scientists used the intact human COVID receptor protein gene, which contains additional regulatory information beyond the DNA sequence that codes for the protein. This approach improved the likelihood that the mouse cells would correctly incorporate and read the human gene.

Nanoparticle-Mediated Gene Delivery:

Nanoparticles were employed as a delivery system to introduce the human COVID receptor protein gene into mouse cells. These nanoparticles acted as carriers, transporting the DNA into the cells where it could be integrated into the mouse cell chromosomes.

Selection of COVID Receptor Protein-Expressing Cells:

To identify cells that had successfully incorporated the human COVID receptor protein gene and were producing the receptor protein, the researchers used an antibiotic resistance gene as a marker. Cells that expressed the antibiotic resistance gene were likely to have also acquired the human COVID receptor protein gene.

Functional Testing:

The functionality of the human COVID receptor protein produced in mouse cells was rigorously tested. The researchers demonstrated that a pseudovirus containing the COVID spike protein could bind to the receptors and infect the cells, indicating that the COVID receptor protein was fully functional.

Potential Applications:

The ability to produce human COVID receptor protein in mouse cells has far-reaching implications. It could facilitate the development of:

– Antiviral therapeutics: The COVID receptor protein could be used to design decoy receptors that bind to the COVID spike protein, preventing the virus from infecting cells.

– Rapid diagnostic tests: The COVID receptor protein could be incorporated into biosensors to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2, enabling rapid and accurate diagnosis of COVID-19.

– Fundamental research: The availability of human COVID receptor protein in mouse cells will allow scientists to study the receptor in greater detail, gaining insights into its role in viral infection and immune responses.

Conclusion:

The successful production of human COVID receptor protein in mouse cells represents a significant advancement in the fight against COVID-19. This breakthrough opens up new avenues for research, paving the way for the development of novel treatments and diagnostic tools to combat this devastating virus.

FAQ’s

1. What is the ACE2 receptor, and why is it significant in the context of COVID-19?

The ACE2 receptor is a protein found on the surface of human cells. It serves as the entry point for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Understanding the ACE2 receptor and its role in viral infection is critical for developing effective treatments and vaccines.

2. How did scientists produce the human ACE2 receptor protein in mouse cells?

Scientists used a combination of techniques to produce the human ACE2 receptor protein in mouse cells. They employed an intact gene approach, utilized mouse cells as a suitable host, and employed nanoparticle-mediated gene delivery to introduce the human ACE2 gene into the mouse cells.

3. How did the researchers test the functionality of the human ACE2 protein produced in mouse cells?

The researchers tested the functionality of the human ACE2 protein by demonstrating that a pseudovirus containing the COVID spike protein could bind to the receptors and infect the cells. This indicated that the ACE2 protein was fully functional.

4. What potential applications does the production of human ACE2 protein in mouse cells have?

The production of human ACE2 protein in mouse cells has several potential applications, including the development of antiviral therapeutics, rapid diagnostic tests, and fundamental research to gain insights into the role of ACE2 in viral infection and immune responses.

5. Why is the ability to produce human ACE2 protein in mouse cells a significant breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19?

The ability to produce human ACE2 protein in mouse cells is a significant breakthrough because it opens up new avenues for research and facilitates the development of novel treatments and diagnostic tools to combat COVID-19.

Links to additional Resources:

https://www.bnl.gov/ https://www.virology.org/ https://www.cuimc.columbia.edu/

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: ACE2 receptor (protein), SARS-CoV-2 (virus), Mouse cells (biology)

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