Health funds a Lleida research project to identify potential drugs targeted against a key protein for the entry of SARS-CoV2 virus
The project is led by researchers Manel Portero and Pasqual Torres of the Metabolic physiopathology group
The Department of Health, through the Directorate-General of Health Research and Innovation (DGRIS), will finance a total of 4 million euros with 19 research and innovation projects for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 disease. One of these projects is led by IRBLleida researchers Manel Portero and Pasqual Torres of the Metabolic physiopathology group. The project involves identifying potential drugs targeting the ECA2 protein, key to the entry of the SARS-coV2 virus.
Entitled 'Therapeutic repositioning aimed at inhibiting the expression of ACE2 and viral S trimer proteolysis', the University of Lleida professor and researcher, Manuel Portero, presented the project, that have been selected from researchers from the different health research centers committed to the IRISCAT (Institutes for Health Research and Innovation in Catalonia).
"Coronavirus enters the body through the ECA2 protein, which is mostly expressed in epithelial cells like those found in the lungs. That is why the study aims to grow cells that express ECA2 and expose them to a multitude of drugs to see what may reduce ECA2 levels or the protein that binds to them, to hinder the entry of the virus into the cells", said Portero.
The researchers, Manel Portero and Pasqual Torres