Featured Paper of the Month – April 2023
Published in Science Advances by Oscar Solís and Michael Michaelides et al. from the NIDA IRP Biobehavioral Imaging and Molecular Neuropsychopharmacology Unit.
In our study, we investigated the potential impact of the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on estrogen receptors. To do so, we used computational and biochemical methods to study the binding of the spike protein to human estrogen receptors. Our findings suggest that the spike protein has a high affinity for estrogen receptors and can bind to them, potentially altering their function. We show that the spike protein may interfere with the normal signaling of estrogen receptors, which could have implications for estrogen-dependent processes. Interestingly, our study suggests that the interaction between the spike protein and estrogen receptors may explain some of the sex-based differences in COVID-19. It is important to note that our study has limitations and further research is needed to confirm the findings and explore the implications of this interaction for COVID-19 and other diseases. Nevertheless, our findings may have implications for the development of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 that target the spike protein.
The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binds and modulates estrogen receptors Journal Article
In: Sci Adv, vol. 8, no. 48, pp. eadd4150, 2022, ISSN: 2375-2548.