Workshop 5 - Coronavirus and proteins...
Published: 30 March, 2020
Since December 2019, a new coronavirus of animal origin has begun to infect
humans: this is the beginning of a pandemic
This new virus is called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related
Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2
) and is
the disease called Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19
which may be associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a very close cousin of the SARS-CoV virus,
responsible for the 2003 epidemic, which infected
more than 8,000 people in 30 different countries.
Using bioinformatics tools, SIB researchers have shown that the surface
protein of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is different
from the surface protein of its cousin, the SARS-CoV coronavirus,
particularly in the region involved in its binding to human proteins
(shown in red
in the 3D structure).
The surface protein of the SARS-CoV-2 could thus interact with other human
proteins and infect other cells.
This discovery offers an interesting avenue for the search for new
Here is a short story related to the
coronavirus that highlights the importance of having data quickly and
freely available to researchers,
both in scientific publications and in public databases such as UniProtKB,
(see a slightly more exhaustive list on ExPASy)
Christian Sigrist, Alan Bridge, Philippe Le Mercier DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2020.104759