CSUN molecular biologist aims for virality with review of COVID biochemistry

The sugars making up part of the viral capsule of the SARS-Cov-2 are an underexplored target for antiviral drugs, CSUN Professor Emeritus of Biology Steven Oppenheimer suggests in a mini-review published over the summer in the American Journal of Applied Scientific Research. Oppenheimer, who has studied the role of sugar compounds like carbohydrates in immune recognition and cellular adhesion of pathogens and cancer cells for decades, reviews data on the “glycan shield” of coronavirus membranes, its role in viral adhesion to host cells, and the challenge it presents to the host immune system. Oppenheimer notes that, while these sugar compounds make poor targets for antibodies, which are necessary for an effective immune response, they may offer an opportunity as an antiviral drug target.

The full review is available open-access on the journal website.