BMB Seminar - Dr. Rachel Martin

Guiding the Design of Mutation-Resistant Inhibitors Against the SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program invites you to attend our first BMB Seminar of the semester. Dr. Rachel Martin, Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, will discuss her lab’s NMR work on the structural biology of SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Martin’s lab pivoted to focus on this important issue early in the pandemic.

Please join us by Zoom:

Meeting ID: 943 9079 1725

Passcode: 812388

Abstract: The SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) is essential to viral replication and cleaves highly specific substrate sequences, making it an obvious target for inhibitor design. However, as for any virus, SARS-CoV-2 is subject to constant neutral drift and selection pressure, with new Mpro mutations arising over time. Identification and structural characterization of Mpro variants is thus critical for robust inhibitor design. We initially reported sequence analysis, structure predictions, and molecular modeling for seventy-nine Mpro variants, constituting all clinically observed mutations in this protein as of April 29, 2020. We have now observed >300 unique variants, allowing more definitive conclusions to be drawn. Residue substitution is widely distributed, with some tendency toward larger and more hydrophobic residues. Modeling and protein structure network analysis suggest differences in cohesion and active site flexibility, revealing patterns in viral evolution that have relevance for drug discovery.

Tuesday, September 29 at 5:00pm to 6:00pm


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