A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Mandi has revealed a structure of a protein in COVID-19 virus, which can help in developing antiviral medicine for its treatment.  

At present COVID-19 is being treated by managing symptoms while the body immunity combats the virus as there are no drugs to cure it.

Experts opines “One way of neutralizing any virus is by attacking its proteins and revelation of structure and function of proteins and scientists world over are trying to understand the structure and functions of proteins in COVID-19 to develop drugs, ” says Dr Rajneesh Giri, Assistant Professor in Biotechnology department.

“From the shape’ point of view several proteins contain ordered and intrinsically disordered regions. These classical conformations are in the proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well and with the support of Circular Dichroism spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamics, our team has deciphered the conformation of the region in isolation,” he tells .

These findings have been published in the journal ‘Current Research in Virological Science’, in a paper authored by Dr. Giri and Dr Neha Garg from Banaras Hindu University along with research associates Amit Kumar, Ankur Kumar, and Prateek Kumar.

“The team has experimentally studied the structural conformations of SARS-CoV-2 NSP1 under various conditions – in an organic solvent, membrane mimetic environment, and inside lysosomes and observed dynamic changes in the conformation of IDR and NSP1 in response to its surrounding due to hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions between the proteins and the environment, ” tells a researcher .

 “Our finding provides valuable insight into disorder-order conformation of the NSP1 C-terminal region (residues 131-180) of the SARS-COV2 virus under various environments, which will help in understanding the broader aspect of NSP1 and its interactions with binding partners that are currently unknown and understanding proteins can help in developing ways to fight the virus “,  Dr. Giri adds.

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