In the paper

Morante S, La Penna G, Rossi G and Stellato F (2020) "SARS-CoV-2 Virion Stabilization by Zn Binding”, Front. Mol. Biosci. 7:222. doi:10.3389/fmolb.2020.00222


that has been just published in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, section Biophysics, the Authors suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 virus orf7a and orf8 non-structural proteins are able to inhibit the antiviral activity of BST2 tetherin, a protein of the host immune system, by preventing BST2 maturation. The inhibition is the consequence of a structural switch of tetherin modulated by Zn(II). One can then argue that, cellular Zn deprivation, with Zn replacement by Mg and/or specific drugs based on Ag(I) or Au(I) might result in a significant slowing down of viral replication, owing to the inhibition of orf7a/BST2 and orf8/BST2 complexes formation. Experimental (X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy) and numerical (ab initio Molecular dynamics simulations) are in progress aimed at confirming (disproving?) this hypothesis.


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