An outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease in 2019) caused by the novel coronavirus, officially named SARS-CoV-2, swept across the world from Wuhan at the end of 2019 - having since brought a huge impact on the lives of people both in China and abroad. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency Committee declared the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 2020. In order to effectively address COVID-19 as a public health threat, we need an in-depth understanding of its infection and immune mechanisms. Our experts have investigated the known characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, similarities to related coronaviruses, potential antiviral targets, and lessons learned from the outbreak from a research perspective – which we have assembled to assist in such research efforts.
As we know, SARS-CoV uses angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2) as a receptor for mediating cell entry and mainly infects epithelial cells of both the tracheobronchial tree and type II pneumocytes. On the other hand, MERS-CoV uses dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4, also known as CD26) as a receptor to infect both undifferentiated bronchial epithelial cells and type II pneumocytes. It is now known that the receptor binding domain (RBD) of both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV share a high homology; both coronaviruses interact with the host through binding interactions of the virus Spike protein and human ACE2 receptor protein.
What you can learn from this White Paper:
In the paper, we discuss various research opportunities to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, including: targeted immunotherapy, SC-1 peptide, SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), and vaccine development based on human receptor ACE2. Accurate animal models are necessary for verifying the pathogenesis and immune mechanisms of the illness to accelerate research across vaccine development, new antiviral drug development, gene therapy, and more. Since the outbreak, the R&D team at Cyagen has made every effort to develop animal models tailored to the global SARS-CoV-2 research initiative. As our way of contributing to the international epidemic prevention effort, we are opening services on accurate models for coronavirus receptor targets, such as ACE2 and DPP4, effective immediately.