The famous receptor binding domain (RBD) present in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is known to help the virus associate to human cells. This is mediated via its Angiotensin Converting Enzyme II (ACE2) receptor binding region which recognizes ACE2 expressed in the human lung, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract, other tissues. A full blown research is ongoing on how to disrupt this binding, as it is the first and foremost step of virus-cell interaction. But is there something more to the RBD than just ACE2 receptor binding region? Yes this mischievous SARS-COV-2 may have a secret that its family members do not know about, an upcoming research suggests PMID: 32130973! A very well known conserved RGD (403–405: Arg-Gly-Asp) motif is located few amino acids upstream of the ACE2 binding region in the binding domain of spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2. Interestingly enough, this motif is absent in all the other coronaviruses known till date. This RGD motif is crucial and adequate enough for the virus-human cell binding in various other human viruses such as HMPV, HHV, RV, etc. This motif is present in antigen of the viruses allows it to utilize the integrins present on the host cells as its receptors. This is essential to form the first level of contact for its viral entry into the cells. Looks like this virus really knows its science and has come prepared! This finding reveals integrin binding of the virus as a promising therapeutic target. Genaxxon’s SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV) Spike S1 Protein (RBD) peptidewould be an ideal peptide to work with in this direction. Buy it here >! . Visit our PepCen > and let our peptides do the talking! Genaxxon also has a wide range of viral peptides and are worth a try > .
RGD binding motifs are extremely important peptide in targeted therapy and included in various biomaterials designed to promote wound healing. This motif in viruses has been shown to enhance their pathogenicity by activating various signaling pathways like MAPK and PI-3K. In this article, it has been pointed out that binding to integrin may play a supplemental role to ACE2 binding, like facilitating endocytosis by signaling through the integrin. Alternatively, the virus could infect different target cells by binding to ACE2 or to integrins. Blockers of RGD-binding integrin could be another way of tackling SARS-CoV-2 but it needs further research.