Challenging a paradigm in COVID-19 research


COVID-19 is an acute respiratory disease provoked by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has caused millions of deaths and continues to claim lives. Despite extensive research efforts, effective targeted therapies for widespread use are still lacking.

A recent study has shown that a specific system that cells use to respond to external stimuli, called the Wnt signaling pathway, is involved in the process of SARS-CoV-2 infection and exacerbates the disease. In addition, clofazimine, a drug traditionally used to treat leprosy, but recently found to also be an inhibitor of the Wnt signaling pathway by the group of Prof. Vladimir Katanaev, was shown to be effective against COVID-19.


A surprising finding…

Building upon their expertise in both Wnt signaling and clofazimine, researchers from the laboratory of Prof. Vladimir Katanaev decided to further explore the potential of inhibiting the Wnt signaling pathway to treat COVID-19. In their recent research study published in Microbiology Spectrum, they demonstrated through the use of different compounds inhibiting Wnt signaling that this approach may not be as effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection as previously thought. Specifically, clofazimine showed only a small effect, and its efficacy varied across different cell types and experimental conditions.


… challenging previous research

These findings challenge the current understanding that clofazimine and Wnt signaling inhibition can effectively reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection. This research is of considerable significance as it highlights the complex nature of scientific research. It serves as an important reminder that unanticipated results, when obtained through well-designed experiments, should not be dismissed outright but used to further our understanding.



29 Jun 2023