How SARS-CoV-2 Evades And Suppresses The Immune System (Part 5)

The second section of this series, which begins with this piece, will discuss language and an amount of detail suitable for the lay person with a serious interest in science and medicine.

If viral proteins were manufactured out in the open, they would run the risk of drawing attention from innate immune sensors suspended in the cytoplasm of the cell. To minimize risk, the virus sets itself up in a privileged compartment, a double membrane vesicle, which serves as a replication site where viral enzymes can whir away unnoticed. Like soldiers under siege in a well-armed fortress, so long as the structure holds, they will remain protected and out of sight.

These compartments are a recurring motif among viruses, including poliovirus, hepatitis C, and coronaviruses more broadly. Their biogenesis is not completely understood, but it is expected they derive from the membranes of well-worn cellular pathways that conduct routine functions for the cells, such as disposal of damaged cellular components. The formation of these is facilitated by the interaction of virus-specific proteins, which modify the formation of such vesicles to the virus’ advantage.

Read full article on Forbes

Originally published on Forbes (August 19, 2021)

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.