Max Plank Researchers Solve Puzzle of Viral Copy Machine

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The polymerase of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 multiplies the pathogens' genetic material (blue and red). © Lucas Farnung, Christian Dienemann, Hauke Hillen / Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

How the coronavirus multiplies its genetic material

Max-Plank-Gesellschaft

When someone becomes infected with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen proliferates rapidly in the cells of the infected person. To do so, the virus has to multiply its genetic material, which consists of a single long RNA strand. This task is performed by the viral “copy machine”, the so-called polymerase. Researchers led by Patrick Cramer at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, have now determined the 3D structure of the corona polymerase. This makes it now possible to investigate how antiviral drugs such as remdesivir – which blocks the polymerase – work, and to search for new inhibitory substances.

“In view of the current pandemic we wanted to help,” Max Planck Director Cramer says. “We have extensive experience in studying polymerases.” It was therefore obvious to the scientists what project to choose.

“We were surprised to find that the structure of the coronavirus polymerase is special – it differs from other structures that we have been investigating so far,” explains Hauke Hillen.

The coronavirus polymerase binds to the RNA in the same way as is known from other types of viruses….read more:

Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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