SARS-CoV-2 protease cuts human proteins; Possible link to COVID-19 symptoms

The SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro) plays an essential role in processing viral proteins needed for replication. In addition, the enzyme can cut and inactivate some human proteins important for an immune response. Now, researchers have found other targets of PLpro in the human proteome, including proteins involved in cardiovascular function, blood clotting and inflammation, suggesting a link between the inactivation of these proteins and COVID-19 symptoms.

Clever biomolecular labelling enables identification of immune cells

Biomolecules regulate the biological functions inside every living cell. If scientists can understand the molecular mechanisms, then it is possible to detect severe dysfunction. At a molecular level, this can be achieved with fluorescent markers that are incorporated into the respective biomolecules. Researchers are now able to show that a complex of manganese makes it possible to conveniently label certain biomolecules.

Researchers discover how cowpea mosaic plant virus activates immune system against cancer

Cowpea mosaic virus, when injected into cancerous tumors, stimulates the immune system to attack and often eliminate the tumor. In a new study, immunology researchers characterize the previously unidentified pathways through which CPMV is recognized by the immune system, opening the door for pursuit of CPMV as a new biological cancer treatment.