Many people think of the new coronavirus as “a little heavy flu,” but it’s a mistake. In fact, it is the same coronavirus as the “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus” with a fatality rate of 9.6%, and the genes are also very similar. How long? Interview with Dr. So Nakagawa, Ph.D., who is a postdoctoral researcher at the National Institute of Genetics, a visiting researcher at Harvard University, and a lecturer at the Molecular Life Sciences School of Medicine, Tokai University.
“The similarity of the genes that make up each virus is about 70 to 90%. However, the new coronavirus is not an evolution of the SARS virus. They are like relatives. One of the genes with the lowest similarity compared to each other is the S gene. ” The spike protein (S protein) forming the viral protrusion has the role of binding to the receptor on the surface of the infected cell and mediating the fusion of the viral outer membrane and cell membrane. The S gene has a design drawing that determines the character of the S protein and creates it faithfully.
(Continued to the Daily Gendai official website)