Nuclera helps accelerate understanding of COVID-19
February 18, 2021
We are proud to share the news that Nuclera has been working with the University of Southampton to characterise ACE2, the main entry point of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Nuclera's protein scientist Dr Stephanie Reikine's collaborative work with the teams at Southampton has resulted in a peer-reviewed publication in the Feb 2020 issue of Nature Genetics.
This study identified a novel isoform ACE2, which is selectively expressed in the airways - a primary location where respiratory viruses can infect the host. Importantly, work performed by Nuclera, using Cell-Free Protein Expression approaches, shows that this shorter, novel isoform can encode a detectable protein, and thus linking the genotype to function. Dr Reikine was able to show this faster, with less material, and in a more quantitative and multiplexed way compared to conventional methods.
The authors of this study also showed that this novel isoform is regulated by interferon, which is suppressed by SARS-CoV-2 infection. This finding suggests that interferon can be a viable method to counter SARS-CoV-2 infection. Indeed, a Phase III clinical trial using inhalable interferon-beta to treat COVID-19 is now underway in Southampton.
This study has helped to demonstrate both the expertise of the staff at Nuclera, and also the viability of the expanding technologies Nuclera is developing in the protein synthesis field.