Image: NIAID NIH
Scientists at the University of California in San Francisco found that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 uses the same strategy spread throughout the body, and cancer cells. This may indicate that anticancer drugs can help to deal with COVID-19. This tells the publication the Conversation.
The researchers found that for capturing cells coronavirus uses kinases — enzymes that catalyze the transfer of phosphate groups from one molecule to another and thus ensure the functioning of cellular metabolism. Scientists have created a detailed map kinase contributing to the infection, and identified an existing anti-cancer drugs that alter functions used by the coronavirus enzymes.
The growth of cancerous tumors is provided by some kinds of kinases that become too hyperactive and lead to uncontrolled cell proliferation. Viruses also alter the function of cells to redirect their metabolism for the synthesis of viral proteins and nucleic acids and create new virus particles. In this process also active kinase.
In the experiment, the scientists infected cells green monkey SARS-CoV-2, then shredded them and analyzed by a mass spectrometer to determine exactly which molecules were phosphorylated by. The same was done with healthy cells.
It turned out that 49 different kinases (all 518 known human kinases) contribute to the spread of the virus in the body. Some of them are involved in the MAPK signaling pathway that controls inflammatory responses in the body and may play a role in initiating the cytokine storm that develops in severe COVID-19. Another kinase that uses the virus is a casein-kinase 2, causing the growth of microtubules on the cell surface. These processes extend to other cells, facilitating their infection with coronavirus.
The researchers reviewed data on about 250 drugs that inhibit kinases, and found 87 that affect used by the coronavirus enzymes. Some of them are already being applied in the fight against cancer or are undergoing clinical trials and could be redirected to treatment COVID-19. 68 testing of preparations showed that some of them effectively eliminates the coronavirus in cells, for example Eliteserien inhibits casein kinase 2. However, it is necessary to conduct clinical trials, before applying these tools to treat people.
Video, photo All from Russia.