Inhibitor screening and structural characterization of virulence factors from SARS-CoV-2

by Spyros Chatziefthimiou (DESY)




Coronavirus induced zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 can cause pandemics with unforeseeable consequences to human health and world economy. Understanding of the molecular mechanisms of virus/host interaction is essential for the rational design of therapies against Covid-19. Following an interdisciplinary research approach, we aim to develop effective therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2. To achieve this, we established a workflow that includes the production of proteins involved in the coronavirus replication-transcription complex; the high-throughput screening for virulence factor inhibitors of drug repurposing libraries; the structure/function analysis of the enzyme-inhibitor complexes; and the evaluation of the in vivo efficacy of the identified potent inhibitors. This interdisciplinary cooperation can be used as a paradigm for future drug discovery efforts. In my talk I will give an overview of this project and the results achieved to date.