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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Shed New Light on the Molecular Detail of COVID-19

September 1, 2021

Research conducted by scientists from Western Sydney University reveals a distinct binding interface for both key proteins in COVID-19 – ssDNA and RNA – which work to enable the replication of the virus in host cells.

The research results are published as an open-access article in the journal PROTEINS. According to co-lead researcher Dr. Roland Gamsjaeger from the School of Science, this finding is an exciting step in further understanding COVID-19. Dr. Gamsjaeger said the replication of the viral genome is a fundamental step in the virus life cycle and SARS-CoV-2 non-structural protein 9 (Nsp9) is shown to be essential for virus replication through its ability to bind RNA in the closely related SARS-CoV-1 strain.

The research revealed a distinct binding interface for both ssDNA and RNA that is different from the one proposed in the recently solved SARS-CoV-2 replication and transcription complex (RTC) structure. "While our study resolves some of the ambiguities around the exact location of RNA binding within Nsp9, however, further studies will be required to shed light onto these important processes," said Dr. Gamsjaeger.

For more details, read the article in Western Sydney University News Centre.

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