Coronavirus RNA synthesis by multicomponent protein machines

  • Funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Total publications:0 publications

Grant number: unknown

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Start & end year

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United States of America, Americas
  • Lead Research Institution

  • Research Category

    Pathogen: natural history, transmission and diagnostics

  • Research Subcategory

    Pathogen morphology, shedding & natural history

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Not Applicable

  • Vulnerable Population

    Not applicable

  • Occupations of Interest

    Not applicable


SUMMARYSARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has emerged as a global human pathogen sweeping through ourcommunities. The development of strategies to prevent or treat COVID-19 is essential for mitigating disease and limitingfurther viral spread. A key target of antiviral therapeutics is the virus RNA replication complex. The SARS-CoV-2 replication complex is a large multi-subunit machine with multiple co-factors, enzymes and host modulating proteins.How these protein subunits assemble and cooperate to carryout viral RNA replication and transcription remains unclear. The overarching theme of this work is to examine understudied aspects of the coronavirus replication complex with anemphasis on characterizing the effects of existing antiviral therapeutics as well as the discovery of novel targets andcompounds. We are interested in how the virus nsp14 exonuclease contributes to viral RNA proofreading, reducingnucleotide misincorporations and providing natural resistance to nucleoside analogue drugs. We will also explore thefunction of the enigmatic nsp12 nucleotidyltransferase (NiRAN) and will piece together the network of viral proteininteractions responsible for the assembly of the RNA synthesis complex. To this we will use diverse methods includingbiochemistry, biophysics, cell biology, chemical biology and cryo-electron microscopy. These studies will provide newinsight into the workings of this complicated machine, provide new mechanisms of action for existing therapeutics and discover novel antiviral compounds. In addition, the high conservation of components of the replication machineryacross the coronavirus family allows these studies of SARS-CoV-2 to be applicable to future emerging coronaviruses tohead off future viral pandemics before they become global crises.