Molecular mechanism of interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and host cells and interventional therapy.

Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy
Qianqian ZhangFei Yu


The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has resulted in an unprecedented setback for global economy and health. SARS-CoV-2 has an exceptionally high level of transmissibility and extremely broad tissue tropism. However, the underlying molecular mechanism responsible for sustaining this degree of virulence remains largely unexplored. In this article, we review the current knowledge and crucial information about how SARS-CoV-2 attaches on the surface of host cells through a variety of receptors, such as ACE2, neuropilin-1, AXL, and antibody-FcγR complexes. We further explain how its spike (S) protein undergoes conformational transition from prefusion to postfusion with the help of proteases like furin, TMPRSS2, and cathepsins. We then review the ongoing experimental studies and clinical trials of antibodies, peptides, or small-molecule compounds with anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, and discuss how these antiviral therapies targeting host-pathogen interaction could potentially suppress viral attachment, reduce the exposure of fusion peptide to curtail membrane fusion and block the formation of six-helix bundle (6-HB) fusion core. Finally, the sp...Continue Reading


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