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Source: SARS-CoV-2 Mutations-Immune Evasion  Oct 25, 2021  2 years, 5 months, 3 weeks, 3 days, 4 hours, 33 minutes ago

Swiss Study Reveals That Mutations At A Hotspot W152 Of The N-Terminal Domain (NTD) Of The SARS-CoV-2 Virus Is Driving Immune Evasion!

Swiss Study Reveals That Mutations At A Hotspot W152 Of The N-Terminal Domain (NTD) Of The SARS-CoV-2 Virus Is Driving Immune Evasion!
Source: SARS-CoV-2 Mutations-Immune Evasion  Oct 25, 2021  2 years, 5 months, 3 weeks, 3 days, 4 hours, 33 minutes ago
SARS-CoV-2 Mutations-Immune Evasion: A new study by researchers from the Data Science Department, SOPHiA GENETICS-Switzerland has found that mutations at a hotspot W152 of the N-Terminal Domain (NTD) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is driving immune evasion.

 
The study team reported a striking increase in the frequency of recruitment of diverse substitutions at a critical residue (W152), positioned in the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the Spike protein, observed repeatedly across independent phylogenetic and geographical contexts.
 
The study team investigated the impact these mutations might have on the evasion of neutralizing antibodies and shockingly discovered that the NTD is a region exhibiting particularly high frequency of mutation recruitments, suggesting an evolutionary path on which the virus maintains optimal efficiency of ACE2 binding combined with the flexibility facilitating the immune escape.
 
The study findings were published on a preprint server and are currently being peer reviewed. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.28.446137v1
 
The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is a ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. RNA viruses are prone to high rates of mutation.
 
Contrary to what was initially proposed of by some dinosaur virologists in the beginning of the pandemic that the novel coronavirus does not mutate much and even if it did, it did not have any significant effects, it has now been found that in SARS-CoV-2, 3 to 10 major substitutions occur on each site of the virus every year.
 
Interestingly during the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase in mutations in the viral genome was observed. In order to survive, SARS-CoV-2 adapts to the host and evades the host immune system, thereby leading to the development of mutations in its genome.
 
To date it has been found that most of these mutations are especially prevalent in the S gene, which encodes for the spike protein.
 
However past studies have mostly focused on the mutations on the spike protein's receptor-binding domain (RBD).
 
This new study however discusses mutations in the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the spike protein, which contains an antigenic "supersite" and is the target for neutralizing antibodies (nAbs).
 
The SARS-CoV-2 Mutations-Immune Evasion study explores the potential impact of NTD mutations on infectivity and immune evasion and highlights the importance of investigating mutations occurring in regions other than the RBD of the spike protein.
 
According to the study findings, Tryptophan at position 152 (W152) is a mutational hotspot in the Spike gene.
 
During the research, the SARS-CoV-2 genome in the SOPHiA DDM database was screened for mutations on the S gene. Distinct mutations were identified in the NTD of the sp