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Pulling the plug on the coronavirus copy machine



Pulling the plug on the coronavirus copy machine

Antiviral drug remdesivir forms the main line of FDA-approved therapeutic defense against the COVID-19 virus. Researchers at the University of North Texas are using the Frontera supercomputer to model how remdesivir blocks coronavirus reproduction, in the hopes of developing improvements on the drug. Shown here are the crystal structures of the RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase ternary complex model with double stranded RNA and incoming remdesivir triphosphate. Credit: Cisneros Research Group, UNT Key proteins used by coronavirus for its reproduction being modeled on NSF-funded Frontera supercomputer by Andres Cisneros research group of the University of North Texas. Research goals include finding ways to improve on COVID-19 therapeutic remdesivir. NSF-funded Frontera allocation awarded to Cisneros through the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium.

In May 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the antiviral drug remdesivir for emergency treatment of COVID-19, one of only four therapeutics currently with this status. Remdesivir stops the chemical machinery that the coronavirus uses to copy itself, binding to an enzyme that does the assembly. While remdesivir has shown promise in helping patients recover from COVID-19, scientists are investigating ways to improve its effectiveness.

A team of scientists led by G. Andres Cisneros of the University of North Texas […]

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