The researchers are wondering how a new coronavirus mutation could affect the vaccine being created. The mutation has sparked a particular interest in the part of the virus known as the spike protein. The new mutational form carries several changes in the spike protein. It differs from other related variants of the virus, and this is one of the reasons the new form of the virus is of particular concern.
New mutations can alter the biochemistry of the protein and affect the transmission of the virus. Spike protein is considered as one of the foundations for the development of modern vaccines. But why is protein spike so important?
In parasite populations, many fungal and bacterial pathogens are able to survive on their own without relying on an infected host cell. But viruses cannot do so. They need to enter the cell to replicate. To do this, they use the cell's own biochemical mechanism to create new viral particles and spread them to other cells in the human body.
Cells have long evolved to ward off such invasions. One form of protection is the outer covering of the cage. It consists of a layer of fat, and in its composition, in turn, all enzymes, proteins and the DNA that form a cell are present. Viruses must cross this dense layer before entering the cell. The. coronaviruses also have their own fatty membrane.
To penetrate into the cell, they use proteins, and thereby connect their membrane with the cell membrane, capturing it. The spike protein of the coronaviruses is recognized as one of these viral glycoproteins. The ebola viruses have one, the flu virus has two, and the herpes simplex virus has five. The protein of the new coronavirus stops at about a spherical viral particle.
It is attached to the shell and clings to cells. According to the scientists, there are 26 trimers of thorns for one virus. Given how important the spike protein is to the virus, many vaccines target viral glycoproteins.
The COVID-19 vaccines actually direct the immune system to create its own version of the spike protein, which happens after immunization. And then antibodies are produced. But a new mutational form can bypass this process and the immune system will not be able to resist it as the virus develops.