Brazilian researchers have discovered that a molecule in the venom of a type of snake may prevent the replication of the Corona virus in monkey cells, a possible first step towards a drug to combat the virus that causes Corona.
Found a study published in the scientific journal Molecules This month that the molecule produced by a type of snake called jararacussu pitviper Inhibits the ability of the virus to replicate in monkey cells by 75%, according to a website report. dailymail“
“We were able to show that this component of snake venom was able to inhibit a very important protein of the virus,” said Rafael Guido, a professor at the University of São Paulo and author of the study.
The molecule is a chain of amino acids, which can contact an enzyme from the coronavirus called PLPro , which is vital for virus replication, without harming other cells.
The study author added that the molecule, already known for its antibacterial properties, can be synthesized in the laboratory, making the capture or breeding of snakes unnecessary.
“It is not the poison itself that will cure the coronavirus,” said Giuseppe Porto, an agricultural herpetologist who runs the biological group of the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. .
The researchers will then evaluate the efficacy of different doses of the molecule and whether it is able to prevent the virus from entering cells in the first place, according to a statement from São Paulo State University (Unsp), which also participated in research.
considered a snake jararacussu One of the largest snakes in Brazil, reaching 6 feet (2 meters) in length. It lives in the coastal Atlantic forest and is also found in Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina.