News from DCEXS-UPF
Aproject of the Synthetic Translational Biology Research Group at UPF is beneficiary of the SUPERA COVID-19 Fund, made up of Banco Santander, Spanish universities, and the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). The project, "CRISPRCOV2: CRISPR Screen to Identify Drug Repurposing Host Targets for SARS-CoV-2 Infection" proposes to identify the factors in human cells that SARS-CoV-2 "hijacks" to promote their infectious cycle with the aim of testing drugs already developed against these factors to inhibit viral infection.
CRISPRCOV2 is a collaboration between the group of Marc Güell in the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) at UPF and the group of the virologist Javier Martinez-Picado, ICREA researcher at IRSI-Caixa and professor at UVic-UCC.
Amal Rahmeh, who will lead the project at UPF, explains that “using CRISPR technology, we will knock-out different genes from human cells. In some cases, the elimination of these genes will prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection, which will allow us to identify the cellular factors necessary for the virus infectious cycle. Subsequently, we will select a suite of available drugs targeting these host factors, test their efficacy in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection, and propose candidates for immediate repurposing as antivirals”.