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Covid: IISc finds 13 proteins in viruses, 441 unique to humans | India News


BENGALURU: Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), led by Professor Utpal Tatu from the Department of Biochemistry, have found a set of new proteins unique to Covid-19, including a key protein that suppresses our immune response to the virus.
The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes more than 25 proteins, but only a handful of these proteins have been identified so far, IISc said.
“The study of viral proteins provides functional information that is currently not well represented. In the analysis, we detected 13 different proteins, most of them not previously identified, from clinical samples. One such protein called Orf9b, which suppresses the host’s immune response, had been predicted, but our team provided the first evidence for its expression, ”said Tatu.
Simply knowing how the virus works will not be enough, he said, adding that you have to put it in the context of the host (humans).
“Therefore, in the third analysis, the team explored how human bodies respond to the virus by examining host proteins. They discovered as many as 441 proteins unique to Covid-19 positive patients, many of which are speculated to play a key role in the body’s immune response, ”IISc said.
Proteomic analyzes (large-scale study of proteins) were carried out using a technique called high-resolution mass spectrometry. The team is optimistic about the potential of this method for large-scale testing.
Proteins can be reliable markers of infections like Covid-19 because they are more abundant and stable compared to the RNA molecules that predominant RT-PCR tests are based on, the researchers argue.
Sheetal Tushir, PhD student and first author of the paper says: “The best we can [hope to] What we see in this century is the use of mass spectrometry as a basic technique for diagnosis ”.
Mass spectrometry is a chemical tool for detecting proteins in a very sensitive way. “It is 100% more accurate and sensitive compared to RT-PCR tests,” said one of them.

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