Nearly ten years ago, three scientists wrote a research paper that was then posted in a more widely read science magazine that sometimes even regular people can understand.

It is a highly cited article.

It was also the first time that anyone really dug into furin cleavage sites and how they could be man made, but also look as if they could occur naturally.

Think about a deep fake video.

They can be very difficult to tell whether they are real or not. This is the same kind of thing.

Did I mention that all three scientists who write this paper are Chinese?

One of the three died under mysterious circumstances and since November 2019, the other two have had round the clock bodyguards while in Europe.

The question has been are the bodyguards there to protect them or keep them from speaking.

Open Access
Published: 16 February 2012

Computational prediction of furin cleavage sites by a hybrid method and understanding mechanism underlying diseases

Sun Tian, Wang Huajun & Jianhua Wu

Scientific Reports volume 2, Article number: 261 (2012) Cite this article

10k Accesses
50 Citations

Furin cleaves diverse types of protein precursors in the secretory pathway. The substrates for furin cleavage possess a specific 20-residue recognition sequence motif. In this report, based on the functional characterisation of the 20-residue sequence motif, we developed a furin cleavage site prediction tool, PiTou, using a hybrid method composed of a hidden Markov model and biological knowledge-based cumulative probability score functions. PiTou can accurately predict the presence and location of furin cleavage sites in protein sequences with high sensitivity (96.9%) and high specificity (97.3%). PiTou’s prediction scores are biological meaningful and reflect binding strength and solvent accessibility of furin substrates. A prediction result is interpreted within cellular contexts: subcellular localisation, cellular function and interference by other dynamic protein modifications. Combining next-generation sequencing, PiTou can help with elucidating the molecular mechanism of furin cleavage-associated human diseases. PiTou has been made freely available at the associated website.

Furin cleaves inactive protein precursors in the secretory pathway and controls the activation of diverse types of functional proteins1,2. The known substrates that are activated by furin include both host proteins and pathogen proteins. The biological functional categories of furin substrates are diverse and include extracellular matrix proteins, signalling peptides, hormone, growth factors, serum proteins, transmembrane receptors, ion channels, bacterial toxins and viral fusion peptides3. Regulation of furin-mediated substrate cleavage plays a crucial role in embryogenesis, pathogen infection, neurologic disease and cancer3. In addition, the utility of furin cleavage-targeted selective anti-cancer drug delivery is also being explored4.- Source

Read more on these