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Coronavirus: Szeged Research Team Identifies New COVID-19 Receptor

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.06.16.

A new receptor discovered by using artificial intelligence developed at the Szeged Biological Research Centre (SZBK) has opened a new potential avenue in protection against Covid-19, said Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH).

A team of Hungarian researchers of SZBK’s Biochemical Institute and their partner professors, Peter Cullen and Yohei Yamauchi of the University of Bristol, have found that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can enter the host cell through a receptor they discovered during their research on influenza, ELKH noted.

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This receptor, neuropilin-1 (NRP1), was discovered on the surface of the host cell.

Several laboratories around the world are working on developing effective therapy by researching the process of Covid-19 infection. Researches have identified the angiotensin-convertase 2 enzyme (ACE2) through which Covid-19 can enter the host cell.

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Research findings of the AI model developed in Szeged have identified the NRP1 receptor as a potential new target in future Covid-19 therapy in addition to the already well-known ACE2.

Featured photo illustration by Tamás Sóki/MTI