May 11, 2020
Researcher Frederic Bard has
studied coronaviruses' step-by-step entry and replication inside
cells. He explains to listeners which stages are the most promising
Along the way, he describes
Frederic Bard is an adjunct
associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry at
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
at the National University of
Singapore and is part of the Institute of Cellular and Molecular
Biology with the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A
Star) in Singapore.
He explains to listeners about the importance of host genes for coronavirus replication. He reminds us that viruses are parasites and need the machinery of a cell to replicate—he has researched different proteins and machines inside the cell that help the structure of viruses to replicate: if we can understand that, he says, maybe we can block replication.
He describes the two moments
that show the most promise for disturbing this process, namely when
viruses bind with spike proteins on the outside of the cell and
when they enter the cytosol for the viruses' RNA replication. A few
years ago, he published work identifying the VCP protein that
coronaviruses bind with and is now researching the possibility of
inhibiting that protein without hurting the cell.
That is part of the challenge, he explains—to make the cell a little bit sick to inhibit the virus replication but not enough to damage the cell and health of the person. Along the way, he explains cell mechanisms in response to viruses, how the structure of virus works with the endosomes and cytosol.
For more, see his lab websites with links to his publications and contact information: https://www.a-star.edu.sg/imcb/science/scientific-programmes/multi-modal-molecular-(m3)-biology and https://bch.nus.edu.sg/fredericbard.htm.