An international team of scientists have identified potential drug targets for a variety of diseases, including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and even COVID-19. This is reported in an article published in the journal Molecular Cell.
When viruses or bacteria enter the body, the complement system is activated – a complex of protective proteins constantly present in the blood, including two different membrane receptors called C5aR1 and C5aR2. Although this mechanism is necessary to combat harmful pathogens, excessive and prolonged activation leads to the development of inflammation and even life-threatening conditions, such as those that cause serious complications in COVID-19.
Researchers have uncovered the internals of C5aR2 using CRISPR and cryogenic electron microscopy, which has provided an additional opportunity for therapeutic effects on COVID-19. For the treatment of coronavirus infection, some scientists are already trying to block the C5aR1 receptor, and clinical trials of avdoralimab are already underway in patients with severe pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2. According to scientists, the study opens up the possibility of influencing C5aR2 with new drug molecules that can bind to this receptor and block its activation.
Earlier it was reported that researchers from the UK showed that llama nanobodies can effectively neutralize SARS-CoV-2 and are a promising agent against COVID-19.