Coronavirus has a hidden gene that makes the virus especially dangerous
Topics: Epidemic, Genetics
Geneticists believe that the key to successfully combating coronavirus is to study its genes. They recently discovered a new "hidden" gene that is likely behind the pandemic potential of SARS-CoV-2, writes Telangana Today. In general, the attention of specialists was attracted by the so-called overlapping genes.
This is the case when the expression of one gene is partially overlapped by the expression of another gene, which makes it difficult to detect and evaluate its activity. According to geneticists, it is overlapping genes that can be a weapon from the arsenal of coronaviruses, with the help of which effective replication, suppression of the host's immunity and infection of the victim were achieved as evolution proceeded.
The focus of the new study is ORF3d, an overlapping gene in SARS-CoV-2 that can encode a fairly long protein. This gene is also present in the previously discovered pangolin coronavirus. By itself, ORF3d produced a strong antibody response in COVID-19 patients. This means that the protein associated with this gene is most likely produced when a person is infected.