A new study published in the journal Science by a team of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and the National Institutes of Health says they have created the first 3D atomic-scale structural map of the new coronavirus attached to and infected parts of human cells, a key step in the study of vaccines and treatments, according to media reports.
Jason McLellan, an associate professor at the University of Austin who led the study, and his colleagues have spent years studying other members of the coronavirus family, including SARS and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This helps them develop a way to keep the protoprotein stable.
Two weeks after receiving the virus’s genome sequence, the team designed and produced a stable sample of the prototyping protein. It took about 12 days to reconstruct the 3D atomic-scale structure of the protoprotein.
Using Cryo-EM technology, the researchers revealed the high-definition structure of the protrusion protein tripolymer on the surface of the new coronavirus, creating a 3D atomic-scale structure of the protoprotein.
“We may be one of the first people to get this structure, and the protoprotein is the antigen we want to introduce to humans to trigger an immune response to produce antibodies,” Professor McClellan said. That way, when a real virus is encountered, the immune system is ready to attack. “
It is reported that the team is sending its molecular structure map to researchers around the world, which will help vaccine development.