SARS-CoV-2 uses sugars to invade human cells, new study shows

Chemists Matthew Macauley (left) and John Klassen led new research that is among the first to show that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses sugars found on the surface of human cells to enter and infect the cells. (Photo: Faculty of Science; taken pre-COVID-19) Chemists Matthew Macauley (left) and John Klassen led new research that is among the first to show that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses sugars found on the surface of human cells to enter and infect the cells. (Photo: Faculty of Science; taken pre-COVID-19)

SARS-CoV-2 uses sugars to invade human cells, new study shows

Sugars found on the surface of human cells influence COVID-19 infection, according to a University of Alberta-led study that is one of the first to observe this relationship and suggests that cells in the brain might be particularly susceptible.

“The idea here is that the virus is leveraging or using the host glycans, or the host sugars, to gain access to the cells,” said Matthew Macauley, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Chemical Glycoimmunology. “This mode of action of viral entry is not unprecedented,” he said. “What is a surprise, though, is that it hadn’t really been detected....”

https://www.ualberta.ca/folio/2021/11/sars-cov-2-uses-sugars-to-invade-human-cells-new-study-shows.html