Yu M, Zhang T, Zhang W, Sun Q, Li H, Li JP
Front. Mol. Biosci. 7 (-) 628551 [2021-01-25; online 2021-01-25]
Owing to the high mortality and the spread rate, the infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 has become a major threat to public health and social economy, leading to over 70 million infections and 1. 6 million deaths to date. Since there are currently no effective therapeutic or widely available vaccines, it is of urgent need to look for new strategies for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection diseases. Binding of a viral protein onto cell surface heparan sulfate (HS) is generally the first step in a cascade of interaction that is required for viral entry and the initiation of infection. Meanwhile, interactions of selectins and cytokines (e.g., IL-6 and TNF-α) with HS expressed on endothelial cells are crucial in controlling the recruitment of immune cells during inflammation. Thus, structurally defined heparin/HS and their mimetics might serve as potential drugs by competing with cell surface HS for the prevention of viral adhesion and modulation of inflammatory reaction. In this review, we will elaborate coronavirus invasion mechanisms and summarize the latest advances in HS-protein interactions, especially proteins relevant to the process of coronavirus infection and subsequent inflammation. Experimental and computational techniques involved will be emphasized.