Covid: a receptor identified in cells would explain why 85% of infected people are more resistant to the virus

A team of international researchers, including Toulouse residents, have discovered that a receptor can detect SARS-CoV-2 infection in epithelial cells and that it succeeds in neutralizing them, limiting the multiplication of infected cells.

The Covid pandemic is far from having revealed all its mysteries to us. But researchers are gradually beginning to find keys to better control its impact on populations. A group of international researchers, including Toulouse residents, decided to look at the 85% of people who did well to determine why they were better equipped to deal with the disease.
If more than 300 million people have been infected with SARS-Cov2, sometimes several times, for some, infection with Covid-19 has resulted in a simple cold…

In addition to this observation, several million people have died from it around the world and the virus continues to kill patients every day despite vaccination campaigns.

In this study involving @INFLAME_IPBS in collaboration with British, Americans and Singaporeans, the NLRP1 inflammasome is identified as a new detector of SARS-CoV-2, thus participating in its elimination by inducing the death of the infected cell.

– CNRS Occitanie West (@CNRS_Toulouse) May 24, 2022

So how to explain this difference in symptoms, according to the patients? And why is a part of the population more resistant to infection than others?

“We realized that this majority of people express a receptor in the cells of the nose, bronchi and lungs called NLRP1. It is a receptor that detects the coronavirus and allows the cell to die very quickly. before the coronavirus can grow or multiply. This prevents it from spreading from cell to cell and inducing too much lung damage.”explains Etienne Meunier, CNRS researcher at the Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology, whose study results have just been published in the journal Molecular Cell.

“It looks like the proteins of SARS-Cov2. So it will be used like the proteins of the coronavirus. Except that once it is matured, it becomes a poison for the cell. And the cell dies for the benefit of the rest of the body. The coronavirus can no longer multiply ad infinitum, it has no more food as the cell is dead. It is the principle of scorched earth”continues the scientist.

Tested against other very deadly coronaviruses, such as MERS-CoV from the Middle East or SARS-Cov1, the NLRP1 receptor would have worked very well in both cases. It now remains to reproduce the effects of NLRP1 so that it overcomes the infected cells before they spread. Researchers could thus turn to a vaccine that can stimulate this receptor and have a specific and strong response to the coronavirus or its variants.

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