Several reports have spread recently about how the new Corona virus affects the lungs, and then it can spread to other organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver.
A new study from Spain revealed that the proteins in the lungs act as basic stimulants.
The research team, from the University of Zaragoza and Aragonesa para la Investigación y el Desarrollo, found that proteins in the lungs are stimulated by the virus, which leads to the activation of proteins in certain organs, and thus they become more vulnerable to infection.
The virus uses a protein on the outside of cells, called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), to enter and infect them.
Once inside the human cell, the viral proteins interact with those in the body, which can lead to mild or severe effects.
However, not every organ with copious amounts of ACE2 is affected by the virus, which may mean that there is a different path of transmission, according to the researchers.
Lead author Dr. Ernesto Estrada, a professor at the University’s Institute of Applied Mathematics, said, “This receptor is ubiquitous in most human organs, so that if the virus spreads in the body, it can also enter and affect other organs.”
However, the virus selectively infects some but not all organs, as would be expected from these potential mechanisms.
In the study, published in the journal Chaos, the team examined how proteins in the lungs interact with proteins in other organs.
Estrada explained that for proteins to interact with each other, they need to move within the cell in a “sub-proliferation” manner.
Likewise, proteins in the cell must be deflected around obstacles to interaction, but some are present in the cell itself or an organ, and some are not.
With this in mind, Estrada developed a mathematical model that showed that there are 59 proteins inside the lungs, which act as primary activators for other organs.
When the virus affects the lungs, it triggers a chain of events that lead to changes in proteins within other organs.
However, these changes only occur in certain organs, such as the heart and kidneys, and not in others, such as the stomach.
For future research, Estrada says he wants to study whether targeting proteins in the lungs will help prevent multiple organ failure in the future.
He explained that targeting some of these proteins in the lungs with existing drugs will prevent disturbance of the proteins expressed in other organs, and avoid the failure of many organs, which in many cases leads to the death of the patient.
Source: Daily Mail