JKU researchers have made an initial video recording of the coronavirus spike protein.
Under the direction of geneticist Josef Penninger, he and his research team conducted work using lectins to "glue" the SARS-CoV-2 virus to human cells. This work led to creating a new video of the pathogen's spike (S) protein. JKU Prof. Peter Hinterdorfer (Department of Applied Experimental Biophysics) and other JKU biophysicists have now come up with what the researchers are saying is the first short film of the active structure the virus uses to attach to cell. The S protein is surprisingly agile. Peter Hinterdorfer explains that lectins are so-called glycoproteins which can, in turn, bind to the sugar molecule structure of antigens, such as the spike protein. These could then occupy neuralgic sites located directly on the spike protein, preventing the pathogen from binding to the cells. Hinterdorfer added: "This means the ‘door’ can be blocked because the key is stuck."