In a new research that can help accelerate the development of drugs for treating Covid-19, researchers at IIT Mandi claim to have deciphered the structure of one of the key proteins of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus which causes the infection.
In a study published in the journal ‘Current Research in Virological Science’, the researchers have described the shape and properties of the C-terminal region of non-structural protein 1 (NSP1) present in the coronavirus.
According to the scientists, the virus has sixteen non-structural proteins, of which NSP1 plays an important role in disrupting the proteins of the host cell and suppressing its immune functions.
“The NSP1 is composed of 180 amino acids. The region containing amino acids 1 to 127 had already been shown to form an independent structure, but there had so far been no experimental proofs about the C-terminal region of the protein which contains amino acids 131 to 180. With the support of Circular Dichroism spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations, our group has deciphered the conformation of this region in isolation,” said assistant professor of biotechnology, Rajanish Giri, one of the authors of the study.
He said that one route to neutralising any virus is to attack its proteins, and scientists across the globe are trying to understand the structures and functions of proteins in the coronavirus in order to develop drugs against the virus.
The study was authored by Amit Kumar, Ankur Kumar, Rajanish Giri and Prateek Kumar from IIT Mandi and Neha Garg from Banaras Hindu University (BHU).