Scientists from the University of Washington School of Medicine have found an alternative way for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to enter cells: the virus does not always need ACE2 receptors to enter the body, according to the institution's website.
The coronavirus enters cells through ACE2 (angiotensin converting enzyme 2) receptors. SARS-CoV-2 uses spikes to cling to ACE2 on the cell surface. However, according to new research, the virus may not need ACE2 receptors to enter cells.
The authors of the study note that most scientists work with primate kidney cells, but the new study used human lung cells, including cancer cells that do not have ACE2, they turned out to be susceptible to the mutated virus grown in the laboratory.
Earlier, Chinese scientists did not rule out the role of the AXL protein in the human lungs in the spread of COVID-19. And scientists from the University of Cambridge and the Pirbright Institute have identified genetic changes in SARS-CoV-2, through which it became possible to transmit the virus to humans from a bat. These are mutations similar to those that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003.