Found a substance that blocks the penetration of coronavirus into the body

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Found a substance that blocks the penetration of coronavirus into the body

Scientists at the University of Geneva in Switzerland have found drugs that can block viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 from entering cells. These inhibitors are five thousand times more effective than the drugs currently used. This is reported in an article published in the journal Chemical Science.

To enter cells, viruses use a mechanism known as cellular uptake, mediated by thiols, analogs of alcohols, where an oxygen atom is replaced by a sulfur atom. Sulfur compounds are present on the membrane of eukaryotic cells, bacteria and the envelope of viruses. The interaction between thiols and sulfides triggers a process that allows the substrate to enter the cell through fusion (endocytosis) or through direct transfer across the membrane. HIV and diphtheria bacillus toxins enter cells through thiols. However, the involvement of sulfur-containing substances in cellular uptake was still considered controversial.

The researchers searched for potential inhibitors that could prove useful against the pandemic coronavirus. They discovered substances that are 500 times more potent than Ellman's reagent for detecting thiol groups and capable of inhibiting the cellular uptake mechanism associated with them. Tests have shown that one of the inhibitors can block the entry of the virus into cells.

According to scientists, the results of scientific work will help develop new antiviral drugs.

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