Nov, 2022 - By SMI
A proteinNsp6 in SARS-CoV-2 virus is known to damage heart tissues, concerning the high risk involved the researchers has developed an oral drug that can reduce or say reverse the damage caused.
The virus responsible for Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2 grows by glycolysis process. Glycolysis is the metabolic pathway to obtain free energy by breakdown of glucose. The Defense Research and Development Organization DRDO) together with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories developed an inexpensive oral drug, 2DG that can turn glycolysis process difficult and hence prevent virus growth.
The study has found the protein Nsp6 responsible for the damage of heart in fruit fly’s and mice. Past year, senior author Zhe Han and his team, from University of Maryland detected highly toxic protein in SARS-CoV-2 virus and successfully found drug ‘selinexor’ to combat the toxicity. However, another protein Nsp6 was found on the row to cause damage. The protein Nsp6 take over heart cells to breakdown glucose for energy. The researchers also found Nsp6 responsible for causing damage to mitochondria, the powerhouse of cell.
The team used the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose 2DG) to block the sugar metabolism. The drug proved to be successful in inhibiting the damage to hearth and mitochondria due to protein Nsp6. The drug 2DG, for now is under clinical trial in India, isn’t approved yet by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.
The idea that leads the study was that some viruses hijack the infected cells in animal machinery to change its metabolism and steal the cells energy source and the virus SARS-CoV-2 is suspected of doing the same. The viruses can also use the byproducts of sugar metabolism to create new viruses. So, the researchers predicted that the drug so developed, which is capable in restoring the heart metabolism to pre-infection levels, would be harmful to the virus by cutting of its energy supply and removing the components required for replication.
At least a year post Covid-19, infected people are highly at risk in heart complications such as heart muscle inflammation, abnormal heart beat, blood clots, stroke, heart arrest and heart failure.
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