Researchers found new antibodies that can directly interfere with and block the cell-to-cell transmission of SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19. FuG1 is the antibody that targets the enzyme furin that is used by the virus for its efficient chain of infection in cells of the human body.
In the journal Microbiology Spectrum, this approach was described recently that could be added to existing SARS-CoV-2 antibody cocktails. It can help for greater functioning against the emerging variants.
From the University of California, the senior author of the study Jogender Tushir-Singh said, “We developed an approach that interferes with the transmission chain of SARS-CoV-2. The Covid-19 vaccines are a great lifesaver in reducing hospitalizations and severe illness. Yet, we are now learning that they may not be as effective in controlling the transmissibility of the virus”.
Specifically, they found that engineered FuG1 antibody interfered with the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ ability to become highly transmissible by competitively interfering with its furin function.
Cellular functions are affected by furin, which is found in every cell in the body. The enzyme breaks down proteins into smaller parts. According to the researchers, furin does this by cutting or cleaving the polybasic peptide bonds in the proteins.