Munich Scientists Use Enzyme to Destroy Covid RNA

March 2022

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM)  – together with colleagues Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and German Research Center for Environmental Health Helmholtz Zentrum München – have made a discovery they say could be used to treat Covid-19 infections.

The key is targeting the virus’ genetic material shortly after it infects human cells and before it has had the chance to undergo major replication. It uses short strands of RNA called siRNA (small interfering RNA) to produce the enzyme that attacks the coronavirus.

“There is a mechanism that can very specifically destroy this RNA, which takes place in all human cells as part of gene regulation,“ Thomas Michler, who led the study at the Institute of Virology of TUM and Helmholtz Zentrum München, told the online platform research-in-germany.org. „It is the so-called RNA interference.“

The researchers are now moving on to a project aimed at introducing the enzyme into human lungs to treat Covid-19 sufferers.

Read the original research paper here

© Oxford University Press