The mutation in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, is one of the many gene mutations in the respective variants that have appeared in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.
This mutation makes the virus contagious in human cells up to eight times compared to that of the primary virus that originated in China, according to research published in the journal eLife.
The study, led by researchers at New York University, the New York Genome Center and the Mount Sinai Hospital, confirms the findings that the D614G mutation makes SARS-CoV-2 more transmissible.
Neville Sanjana, associate professor of biology at New York University, professor of neuroscience and physiology at the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University and a primary faculty member at the New York Genomics Center, said: “In the months that have passed since we first conducted this study, the importance of D614G mutation: The mutation has reached near-global prevalence and has been included in all current variables of concern. The assertion that the mutation leads to more transmissibility may help explain, in part, why the virus spread so quickly over the past year.
The D614G mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, commonly referred to as “variant G”, likely appeared in the early 2020s, and is now the most widespread and dominant form of SARS-CoV-2 across the United States and in many countries. around the world.
As multiple mutations spread, researchers have worked to understand the functional significance of these mutations and whether they purposefully alter the extent of the virus’s contagion or lethality.
In this study, researchers introduced a virus carrying the D614G mutation into human lung, liver and colon cells. They also inserted the “wild type” version of the Coronavirus, the version of the virus without the mutation found early in the epidemic, into the same cell types for comparison.
They found that the D614G variant increased transmission, or transmission, of the virus by eight times compared to the original virus. The researchers also found that the protein mutation made the virus more resistant to division or division by other proteins.
This provides a possible mechanism for increasing the variable’s ability to infect cells, as the stiffer variant resulted in a greater proportion of the intact spike protein per virus.
“With our experimental setup, we can specifically evaluate the contribution of G614 and other mutations to the increased prevalence of SARS-CoV-2,” said Tristan Jordan, a postdoctoral researcher in the TenOever lab at Mount Sinai Hospital.
“Our experimental data was largely unambiguous, as the D614G variant infects human cells much more efficiently than the wild type,” said Zarko Daniloski, a postdoctoral fellow at the Sanjana Laboratory at New York University and the Genome Center in New York and co-author of the study.
The team’s findings join a growing consensus among scientists that the D614G variant is more contagious, and this has also been demonstrated in studies that appeared in the journal Cell by researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, in the journal Nature by researchers at the University of North Carolina, and in science by researchers at the University of North Carolina. Texas. However, it remains unclear whether the variable and its rapid spread have a clinical effect on the development of “Covid-19” disease, as several studies indicate that the D614G variant is not associated with more severe disease or hospitalization.
The researchers noted that the results related to increasing the transmissibility of the D614G variant may affect the development of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The vaccines were created with an emergency use license from the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the vaccines under development, using the original spike sequence, and studies are underway to understand how effective these vaccines are in protecting against the variants that have emerged in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, which all contain the D614G mutation.
Recent work from other groups indicates that primary vaccines using the D614 form of spike could protect against the newer form of G614, although more work is needed to understand how multiple mutations interact with each other and affect the immune response.