Factor D

#GS3 #Science #Technology #Covid19


New research: Blocking key protein may guard against severe Covid-19. The protein is known as factor D, and the researchers say there may already be drugs in development for other diseases that can block this protein.



  • A new study suggests that blocking a human protein may curtail the potentially deadly inflammatory reactions that many patients have to the novel coronavirus. 
  • The study, by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, is published in the journal Blood.
  • Scientists already know that spike proteins on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 are the means by which it attaches to cells targeted for infection. The spikes first grab hold of a molecule called heparan sulfate, then uses the human protein ACE2 as its doorway into the attacked cell.
  • In a series of experiments, researchers in the new study used normal human blood serum and three subunits of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to discover exactly how the virus hijacks the immune system and endangers normal cells.
  • The team found that by blocking factor D, they were able to stop the destructive chain of events triggered by SARS-CoV-2.
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