A team of researchers from Arizona State University have made an important breakthrough in their understanding of SARS-CoV-2's ability to evade the body's immune system. Led by postdoctoral researcher Rebecca Jernigan, the researchers examined the viral protein NendoU, which is responsible for this evasive behavior.
The team found that NendoU works through a two-step process, in which the rigid half binds to the active site of the substrate, while the flexible half binds less tightly. This scissor-like movement helps to erase the signal of the virus's presence within the cell and disable an appropriate immune response.
Jernigan noted the importance of this study in the development of drugs against NendoU. If successful, these drugs could reveal the presence of the virus to the immune system and potentially hinder serious infections. The findings of this study were published in the journal Structure.
This research provides a valuable insight into the complex mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 and its ability to evade the body's immune system. The team's findings could prove to be a major step forward in the development of drugs against NendoU, and potentially lead to the prevention of serious illnesses caused by the virus.