Contact person:
Anette Gjörloff Wingren
  • Malmö University
Responsible at Malmö University:
Anette Gjörloff Wingren
Project members:
Collaborators and other project members:
  • Niklas Arnberg - Umeå University
  • Mikael Elofsson - Umeå University
  • Remi Caraballo - Umeå University
Time frame:
01 August 2020 - 31 March 2022
Research environment :
Research subject:

Project description

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the pathogen that causes the disease Covid-19. Coronaviruses all share the following structural protein species:

  • the spike-S protein
  • the membrane glycoprotein M
  • the envelope protein (E),
  • he nucleocapsid protein N
  • and, depending on the coronavirus species, additional accessory proteins may be incorporated into the virion.

Ongoing vaccine development efforts for SARS-CoV-2 have primarily focused on the coronavirus transmembrane spike S-glycoprotein. A critical step in this crosstalk between the virus and host cell is binding of S-glycoprotein to the angiotensin I-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on the surface of human cells. This protein is commonly expressed on many cell types in humans.

In this project, interactions between viral proteins and human cells will be investigated in vitro to get a better understanding of the crucial interaction processes. Relevant 3D models of cell cultures will be established in vitro and investigated for the interactions of viral proteins and receptors on human host cells. In addition, interactions between viral proteins and human cells will be disrupted by the use of reagents specific for glycosylated structures. Methods used will be flow cytometry, fluorescence/confocal microscopy, fiber knob assay and protein binding assays. Our studies aim to acquire further knowledge gaining the development of anti-viral medication and vaccines.