Scientists uncover how antibody-based treatments reduce COVID-19 severity

Scientists at Oregon State University have discovered a protein necessary for the activation of a small protein complex within cells that can contribute to severity of COVID-19 infections.

In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine the team describes how the protein complex shown to be involved in regulating HIV-1 attachment to the extracellular membrane occurs naturally in human cells and what happens when it goes awry.

We found the regulation of integrin-2 complex occurred naturally in epithelial cells within the spleen and lung and we also found that certain subtype of HIV infection shows a deficiency in its expression in immune cells said Dr. Gavin Smith the lead author of the paper and an O-Stony faculty member.

He noted that the linkage between HIV and human cancer (HIV-1) and physical differences meant this consideration is likely important to HIV-infection patients.

The discovery of the protective role of components that are required for proper integration of HIV and host cells are relevant in the context of AIDSend-stage infection said Dr. Smith who is a member of the Vector Institute at OHSU.