(Reuters) (Reuters) – A structure model of how the Omicron variant binds to cells and antibodies can shed light on its behaviour and will aid in designing neutralizing antibodies, according to researchers.
They utilized computer models to analyze molecular interactions that occur when the spike grabs onto ACE2, the virus’s gateway into the cell.
Metaphorically, the virus was able to shake hands with ACE2 however, Omicron’s grip appears more like two hands with fingers interspersed, as per Joseph Lubin from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Lubin claimed that Omicron’s mutations may work together to infect cells via the “molecular anatomy” of its grip.
The research team also modeled the spike by using different types of antibodies attempting to attack it. Lubin explained that the antibodies attack from different angles “like the defense of a football team could attack the ball carrier of an opponent”. One person grabs the ball from behind and another from the front.
He noted that certain antibodies “appear to be vulnerable to being shaken off” while others likely remain effective. Booster vaccines raise the amount of antibodies, which could help to compensate for “a weaker grip on a particular antibody,” Lubin stated.
Lubin declared that the results published on bioRxiv before peer review need to be confirmed “especially with real-world samples from individuals.” “While our molecular structure predictions are by no necessarily a definitive statement on Omicron, (we hope) they can facilitate a faster and more effective response from the global community.”
SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3E5Rdnq bioRxiv, online December 13, 2021.
Content Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/964914?src=rss