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Study: Spike Proteins Not Helpful in Cell Repair and Cancer

A pre-print study by S. Zhang and W.S. El-Deiry titled “SARS-CoV-2 spike S2 subunit inhibits p53 activation of p21(WAF1), TRAIL Death Receptor DR5 and MDM2 proteins in cancer cells” posted on 15 April 2024 found that COVID-19 spike proteins are not helpful to cell repair and cancer.

The paper is 17 pages long. The main text is about 10 pages, the remaining are references and figures.

The protein p53 helps repair DNA and fight cancer.

DNA damage or therapy-induced tumor suppressor p53 protein transcriptionally activates genes leading to multiple effects preserving genome integrity, altering metabolism, immune response, cell cycle, DNA repair, cell growth and cell apoptosis to prevent or eliminate transformed cells.

The study did not find the spike protein binding with p53 in cancer cells. However, amongst other things, it did observe

…a reduction of the p53-responsive bioluminescence in the cells transfected with pcDNA3.1-SARS2-spike S2 subunit, as compared to the pcDNA3.1 transfection control (Figure 3A). A similar reduction of p53-responsive transcription-mediated bioluminescence was also observed in p53 wild-type HCT116-PG13-luc cells which have been stably transduced with PG13-luc (Figure 3B). These results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 spike S2 subunit reduces chemotherapy-induced p53 transcriptional activity in cancer cells.

It also found a reduction of γ-H2AX, a protein necessary for sensing and marking DNA damage.

The cisplatin treatment caused an increase of γ-H2AX at the protein level in the cancer cells (Figure 3C and 3D), indicating DNA damage repair response in p53 wild-type cancer cells. The levels of the γ-H2AX were reduced in the cohort of the cells transfected with pcDNA3.1-SARS2-spike, as compared to the pcDNA3.1 transfection control (Figure 3C and 3D).

In short, and setting aside the arguments for and against chemo, the spike protein inhibits p53 function as well as causing “chemo-resistance”.

Figure 3
Figure 3

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