The research offers a promising pathway to develop new drugs to prevent Covid or deal with fibrosis in the lungs.
The study led by Professor Greg Neely found that this new receptor acts by binding to the virus and sequestering it which reduces infection.
“For me, as an immunologist, the fact that there’s this natural immune receptor that we didn’t know about, that’s lining our lungs and blocks and controls viruses, that’s crazy interesting,” Neely said.”We can now use this new receptor to design broad-acting drugs that can block viral infection or even suppress lung fibrosis.”
The Covid-19 virus infects humans by using a spike protein to attach to a specific receptor in our cells. It primarily uses a protein called the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor to enter human cells.