Biophysicists of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, together with colleagues from the Federal Research Center of the FTM in Novosibirsk and the Federal Research Center of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russia in Moscow, revealed the mechanism of interaction of cationic photosensitizers (substances that cause sensitivity to light) with the spikes of the coronavirus and found a substance that neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This was reported by the press service of the university.

Scientists have found that the method of photodynamic disinfection allows you to suppress the coronavirus. The principle of its operation is as follows: the photosensitizer binds to the causative agent of the disease, and when illuminated, it activates oxygen, which oxidizes the pathogen and kills it. Russian scientists have found targets on the shell of the human coronavirus that a photosensitizer can cling to, and then tested the development.

“We used the dynamic docking method developed at our department [один из методов молекулярного моделирования] and compared the ability of different cationic photosensitizers to bind to the spike proteins of the three coronaviruses, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Our method allowed us to identify the potential binding site of photosensitizers with coronaviruses, they turned out to be the place of articulation of the stem and head of the S-protein, and to find the substance with the highest affinity for this binding site. They turned out to be molecules of zinc octakis (cholinyl) phthalocyanine, ”said Vladimir Fedorov, a researcher at the Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University.

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The press service of the university added that to test the selected photosensitizer, scientists conducted a number of experiments. Studies in the aquatic environment have shown that this substance, in combination with the radiation of red LEDs, disinfects the environment from coronaviruses.

Earlier, the director of the Gamaleya Center, Alexander Gunzburg, said that the creation of a long-term vaccine against coronavirus depends on the strains that scientists have to face.

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