NCI Scientists Solve Structure of Protein that Enables MERS Virus to Spread
Scientists at the Frederick National Lab have produced three crystal structures that reveal a specific part of a protein that can be targeted to fight the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which causes an emerging viral respiratory illness.
Senior Investigator David Waugh, Ph.D., Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory, has solved the structure of an enzyme known as the 3C-like protease (3CLpro), which, if blocked, can prevent the virus from replicating. Waugh’s lab used X-ray crystallography to produce detailed three-dimensional views of the enzyme that depict the entire structure, including the site that the enzyme uses to bind to other molecules. The binding site is an attractive target for inhibitors that could disable the enzyme and, thus, stop the virus from spreading.
This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022