George Tetz, MD, PhD, Co-Founder of the Human Microbiology Institute in New York City, just submitted research about the SARS-Cov2 virus that is awaiting peer-review. David Perlmutter MD interviews Dr. Tetz about his findings. The first 20 minutes are worth listening to.
Summary: Dr. Tetz found Prion-like domains in the spike protein areas as well as the nuclear capsid protein areas of the SARS-CoV2 virus that are very similar to the prion-like domain of human ACE2 receptors. He believes that this might explain the high receptor affinity and could possibly explain the high transmission rates (virulence) and high pathogenicity (potential severity) of the virus. Dr. Tetz also believes that the prion-like domains within the nuclear capsid proteins in this specific virus, which have to do with viral RNA replication, will make a potentially effective target for stopping replication of this virus. He is hoping that there may be some synergy with current anti-prion drugs that are used to prevent the protein mis-folding associated with prion disease. Dr. Tetz is hopeful that one or more of these medications may be effective at mitigating viral replication, and possibly as targets for vaccine development.
Again, this has not been peer-reviewed, but it makes sense to stay up to date on the brilliant research that is just beginning to emerge from our incredible scientific community, in response to our unprecedented global infectious disease crisis. And though it will take longer than we all would like, there will be an ocean of remarkable solutions unleashed on this virus in the coming months.
This link explains why this virus is so good at infecting human cells. It discusses the ACE2 receptor affinity of the virus. This will give a little background to help under Dr. Tetz work a little better.
Click here to view the newest update to this Blog, from Columbia University: Factors that Regulate ACE2, the SARS-CoV-2 Entry Receptor: Which Cell Subsets Are Targeted by SARS-CoV-2? What Host Factors Are Involved in Regulating ACE2 Expression?