COVID Could Shut Down Your Immune System: Scientists

The novel coronavirus's genetic sequence has a segment that produces a substance known as nonstructural protein 1, or nsp1.

    2020/07/23

NSFW    MUNICH — The novel coronavirus's genetic sequence has a segment that produces a substance known as nonstructural protein 1, or nsp1, according to a new study in Science.

Writing for the team, Ludwig Maximilian University says ribosomes are cellular structures that interact with RNAs to produce proteins, including those that signal the body's immune system.

When the novel coronavirus invades a cell, it inserts a piece of malicious code into the host cell's apparatuses to make the proteins the pathogen needs, such as nsp1. This substance is not part of the virus; instead, it is a weapon that disrupts the ribosomes.

Nsp1 is a substance that affects the smaller of the ribosome's pair of subunits called 40S. Nsp1 binds with the entry tunnel to the 40S. This inhibits ribosomes from signaling the immune system. The blockage then results in the collapse of a major line of defense against infections.
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