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Speeding up the search for the next COVID-19 antiviral

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To put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror and prevent other coronaviruse from causing damage, the world needs an arsenal of preventive measures to treat these infections. To develop new drugs, researchers are working to synthesize a single protein, nsp13, which these viruses need to replicate. In a search on ACS Communicable Diseasesan organization has unveiled a new way to identify bacteria that interfere with this protein, a step forward in the prevention of coronavirus infection.

While the vaccine is being prepared immune system to fight viruses, antimicrobials treat diseases that have already begun by interfering with an important part of imaging. Other antibiotics, including remdesivir, molnupiravir and nirmatrelvir, have already been found in patients with COVID-19; however, health authorities they want more options that destroy the infection in different ways. Researchers have discovered a new target in SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses, a protein called nsp13. It is an enzyme that works with other bacterial proteins to help copy bacteria genetic code by disabling two RNA receptors. Nsp13 fuels this function by breaking the link between phosphate groups, including those in the energy-saving molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Nsp13 is also involved in capping the RNA virus, which protects it from the human immune system. To speed up the search for drugs that block nsp13, Masoud Vedadi and his colleagues have developed a new method to assess large numbers of viruses to identify those with the strongest activity.

Because the nsp13 energy release activity increases in the presence of a single binder nucleic acid, the team created experiments that focused on this function in the face of the lack of a single DNA. In both cases, the tests shine brightly when ATP deficiency breaks down, which occurs when something interferes with nsp13. They used one of these tests to assess the 5,000 libraries small molecules, showing 17 impressive results. Additional work, including the conduct of a second experimental study, has limited the field to only six compounds — potential starters for development, strong inhibitors of nsp13, according to the researchers.

The new tests, in their case, could be widely used to assess large numbers of micro-organisms for action on nsp13, or to confirm results from other methods, they said.


The material implanted in the coronaviruses provides a potential target for COVID-19


Learn more:
Kinetic Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 nsp13 ATPase Activities and Identification of Small Antibodies, ACS Communicable Diseases (2022). DOI: 10.1021 / acsinfecdis.2c00165

hint: Launch the next application for COVID-19 antiviral (2022, July 13) retrieved 13 July 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-07-covid-antiviral.html

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