Tagged: Coronavirus


The Main Protease of SARS-CoV2: Finding drug candidates with X-rays

“With the ending –ase you can always assume that it is a really bad protein that breaks something else.”

My cell biology professor in the first semester of my biology degree

As the study of biology progresses, one naturally learns that the above statement – quoted freely from my memory – is not always entirely true. But in fact, most proteins that end in –ase are those that can break down something else. What they split is usually indicated by the syllable in front of it. A protease thus is a protein that can cleave (other) proteins. So does the Coronavirus have a protease to break down the proteins in our cells? No, because at least the main protease of the coronavirus, also known as MPro for short, cleaves the viruses own proteins. And why this is so important for the coronavirus that MPro is being intensively researched as a potential target for drugs against Covid-19, is what I would like to explain in this article.… Read more


TMPRSS2, the entry point of SARS-CoV2 – Part 2

Thank you very much for your keen interest in my article from last week in which I explained that SARS-CoV-2 binds to the ACE2 protein on our cell surfaces so that it can enter our cells together with ACE2 itself. Over the last few weeks you have probably read quite a few times that Covid-19 often isn’t just cause an infection of the lungs, but probably affects many other tissues as well. Usually this is attributed to ACE2 being present in many other tissues. The idea behind it: all cells that carry ACE2 can be infected by SARS-CoV2. Well, today I would like to explain why it’s not that simple. If we look at the viral entry process in more detail, we find that at first only a part (the S1 part) of the spike protein binds to the ACE2 receptor and then…… Read more


ACE2, the entry point of SARS-CoV2 – Part 1

Coronaviruses. For my part, I actually didn’t know anything about them, until the beginning of this very special year 2020. And then this year everything turned upside down and by now you have probably all heard enough of the latest coronavirus strain, SARS-CoV2. For those of you who spent the last months on Mars: SARS-CoV2 is the third strain of coronaviruses that recently expanded its range of host animals successfully to include humans and in this new host, us, can trigger serious respiratory diseases. … Read more

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