The ion channel forming envelope protein of SARS-CoV2 is a promising target for the development of virostatic drugs
Within the LOEWE project iNAPO, researchers of the Thiel and Bertl working groups at the TU Darmstadt focused on the structure and function of viral ion channels. Shortly after the outbreak of the CoVID-19 pandemic, the scientists became aware of a protein of the SARS -CoV2- virus that may have an ion channel function: the envelope (E) protein. In analogy to an already known protein from SARS -CoV1, the so-called envelope (E) protein from SARS -CoV2 is also suspected of conducting ions across membranes and thus interfering with the ion balance of the host cell. Since this protein is involved in the formation of virus particles and in the budding of mature virus particles from the host cells, the E protein is a promising target for the development of virostatic drugs.