- Nov 11, 2019
Wow. As a layperson (sociology major) I find the very descriptions of these spikes (especially the illustrations) to be nauseating. But if I follow your reasoning, a focus on ACE2 proteins would be the closest yet to a front-end assault against the virus. Perhaps an infusion of especially luscious dead-end receptors could round up most of the poisons? Would new dead-end receptors be harmful to the human host? Maybe the docs can provide a balanced amount of them, same as they do with most therapeutic chemicals today.These are some very curious protein interactions. Quoting from the article:
"Why does the spike protein go through this many conformational changes to infect a cell? It "may be a way of the virus protecting itself from recognition by antibodies," Benton said. When the spike protein is in its closed states, it hides the site that binds with the receptor, maybe to avoid antibodies coming in and binding to that site instead, he said."
It seems unlikely that hiding from antibody responses is the reason for the conformational changes since, according to the article, the changes occur only after the spike has made contact with ACE2 and begins the changes to expose these new sites :
"They found that the spike protein undergoes shape changes as it binds to the ACE2 receptor. After the spike protein first binds, its structure becomes more open to allow for more binding..."
Since the changes appear to occur only after contact with ACE2, it seems unlikely that a vaccine for those "hidden" regions of the spike would be viable. Based on the article, such regions are not usually exposed, except during the conformational changes which occur during binding - likely too late to promote antibodies, or prevent infection. In any event, it is interesting, and spooky, that the spike undergoes such changes in order to deliver the viral genome.
Perhaps using a soluble, inactive ACE2 "mimic protein" would trick the spike into latching on to a "dead-end receptor", preventing it from entering a cell. Getting the spike to initiate these conformational changes before it can bind to the real receptor may severely limit its ability to infect cells and replicate. However, creating such a "mimic" may not be so simple. But if one could produce such a recombinant protein in large amounts, and it is safe, it could provide a cure if it is present for sufficient duration to eliminate an active infection.
As long as the fake "ACE2 trap proteins" are not toxic, there is a reasonable chance this could work. But the trap protein would have to be soluble, and so will not have the identical structure as the original, which is membrane-bound. One would have to be certain in its design that it does not itself illicit an antibody response, which would neutralize it rather quickly. It certainly looks good for a look-see from some high-brows in protein-virus interactions!Perhaps an infusion of especially luscious dead-end receptors could round up most of the poisons? Would new dead-end receptors be harmful to the human host?
It does not seem like an ACE2 "trap" would be toxic but we would not know unless it is tried. The real ACE2 is membrane-bound, so it does not float around in your blood. The trap would have to be inactive (no enzymatic activity) and soluble for maximal impact, and this means a "new" protein in circulation, and a lot of it to be effective."As long as the fake "ACE2 trap proteins are not toxic " and coming to realize that such proteins may be toxic (poisonous?)
No choice based on what I just discovered. Before, it was a lot of conjecture, with no knowledge of the ACE2 protein structure. The probability of this working just went up substantially! Was unaware of the ACE2 structure, so ran a search using nih.gov in the search to go directly to the most important data.Please keep posting!
Not into the social media aspect. Too many people with too many questions and issues. Don't have the time. This is as close to social media as my PCs get.Would like to PM you but I don't see a way to do it on this site.
As I suspected, there are clever people out there who are already working on an ACE2 trap!! A simple search gives a number of hits. The reference below is an example from one of the biggest references - Science Magazine.Just wanted you to run with your thoughts and to get credit where it is due.