Could a Topical Agent Reduce Viral Infections?

Monoclonal antibodies and fibrates are two examples of emerging treatments that have demonstrated potential for treating patients infected with COVID-19. Both treatments work in the same basic way, by targeting coronavirus’s distinctive protein spikes and neutralizing their ability to bind to healthy human cells. This action of combating coronavirus infection has shown great promise in both lab and clinical settings.

However, antibody treatment can be costly. For that reason, discovering new anti-COVID agents remains a top priority for the medical research community. The search for new candidates that can bind—and interfere—with COVID-19 spike proteins has been greatly expedited through the use of advanced protein stabilization assays. Recent studies using these assays have shown that a similar mechanism of battling SARS-CoV-2 might be achieved without intravenous injections. In fact, new treatments may be possible without the need to even swallow a pill—therapy may instead involve a topical medication like an ointment, salve, or patch.

Differential Scanning Fluorimetry

Differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) is a screening process that is used to investigate proteins, their structures, and their behaviors such as their folding and unfolding. DSF testing is sometimes referred to as a thermal shift assay, and it uses a series of dyes to observe the interaction and progressive denaturing of a protein. The denaturation is controlled through the application of heat. 

The study of denaturation, folding, and unfolding is crucial to understanding both the means by which proteins change and the effect the changes have on their function. In particular, the way a protein’s long chains of amino acids fold creates a distinct structure—the binding sites left exposed on the protein’s surface are critical to allow the protein to interact with other molecules within the body. These changes can alter how  a particular protein—including a spike protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus—interacts with other molecules.

In order to accurately measure spike protein interactions, sensitivity, accuracy and precision make a difference. When it comes to biologics stability, characterization tools like Prometheus offer precise stability data to characterize thermal folding and aggregation of proteins.  

Human Neutrophil Peptide 1 (HNP1)

Human Neutrophil Peptide 1, or HNP1, is a special antimicrobial molecule called a defensin. Defensins are immunomodulatory agents and play a significant role in regulating healthy immune system responses. Studies using differential scanning fluorimetry revealed that both HNP1 and RC-101, another type of defensin called a retrocyclin, can destabilize SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and thus limit their ability to infect human cells.

It was found that HNP1 was able to bind directly to recombinant spike protein structures. Its affinity was characterized, and the results highlighted HNP1’s highly selective targeting of viral spike proteins. Alteration of these spike proteins—including those that give coronaviruses their eponymous spiky crown structure—provides an effective way to prevent further infections.

Topical Medications for SARS-CoV-2

RC-101 has been used in topical medications to treat HIV, leading researchers to hope a similar medication could be developed for the treatment of COVID-19. Moving forward, researchers believe defensins—retrocyclins in particular—have a great deal of potential as widespread anti-viral treatments for COVID-19 and similar diseases. They are highly stable, low in toxicity and side effects, and resistant to degradation. If successful, researchers hope to develop topical substances to prevent and treat coronaviruses like COVID-19, in addition to other yet-unknown viruses.

Sources:
https://www.clinicaltrialsarena.com/news/study-fenofibrate-covid-infection/
https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210531/Researchers-identify-defensins-as-potential-anti-SARS-CoV-2-agents.aspx
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022283621004587
https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0002491
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep05625
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.27.445985v1 

Related Posts

L.A. Jumps Shanghai on Global Financial Centres Index

January 1, 2024

January 1, 2024

The city of Los Angeles reached a critical historical rating on the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), a ranking based...

Palisades Baseball Association’s Spring 2024 Evaluations Scheduled

December 19, 2023

December 19, 2023

The assessment process involves simple tasks such as fielding ground balls in the infield The Pacific Palisades Baseball Association (PPBA)...

California’s Online Gambling Journey: From Social Casinos to Legal Bets

November 23, 2023

November 23, 2023

In California, the allure of online gambling has been a topic of considerable debate and interest, particularly given the state’s...

How to Obtain a California Motor Carrier Permit

September 1, 2023

September 1, 2023

Everyone wanting to operate a trucking company in California must obtain a Californian motor carrier permit (MCP). This permit allows...

Los Angeles Struggling to Enforce Home Sharing Ordinance on Airbnb, VRBO, and Other Platforms

April 4, 2023

April 4, 2023

Better Neighbors LA report highlights the inadequacies of enforcement measures for short-term rentals in Los Angeles, calling for increased regulation...

What Makes Pacific Palisades One of LA’s Most Expensive Neighborhoods

January 10, 2023

January 10, 2023

Pacific Palisades has long been known for its abundance of multi-million-dollar properties, stunning views, and luxurious homes. All of which...

Cancer Cartel Provides Financial Help To Cancer Patients

November 16, 2022

November 16, 2022

Cancer Cartel is helping cancer patients focus on their treatment, not the financial stress of living with a diagnosis. Learn...

L.A. City Council Seeks to Add 100 miles of bus-only lanes Within Five Years

October 17, 2022

October 17, 2022

L.A’s public transportation network is known for being slow due to traffic congestion. A new motion by L.A. City Council...

PPCC Letter on Potential Changes to Palisades Bus Stops

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

The following is a letter from the Pacific Palisades Community Council on potential changes to the design of bus stops...

Pali High Student Hosts Free Lemonade Stand to Raise Awareness for Breast Cancer Research

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

Palisades High School freshman, Emmy Pynes (15), started Pinkfinity (www.pinkfinity.org) after her aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer at the...

Super Bowl 2023: Will California’s NFL Teams Prosper?

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2022

The Los Angeles Rams outperformed the Cincinnati Bengals at Super Bowl LVI, resulting in an NFL title returning to the...

How Does Ecommerce Evolve in 2022?

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2022

Ecommerce was proved to be one of the main ways of shopping experience of the future even before Covid-19 pandemic....

Zantac Linked To Higher Risk Of Cancer?

March 9, 2022

March 9, 2022

Zantac, a medication used to relieve heartburn and other stomach problems, has been linked with cancer risk. A study published...

Coastal Palisades Mansion Lists for $14.5 Million

February 25, 2022

February 25, 2022

French inspired mansion features ocean views  By Dolores Quintana A beautiful French inspired coastal mansion has been put on sale...

Stunning Music Academy in Brentwood will celebrate its Grand Opening, Sunday, February 20th.

February 18, 2022

February 18, 2022

Introducing the second location of the highly successful Angeles Academy of Music, which has become an icon of Westwood Village.  ...