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Drugging SARS-CoV-2

Author(s): Mallory Bliss1, Alexzandria Khan1, Nandni Verma1, Kasandra Jean-Louise Riley1

Rollins College

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This case study leads students through the process of proposing a drug for a novel protein. The Mpro protease of SARS-CoV-2 is explored in detail within the PDB. Aligns with first semester biochemistry objectives.


This case study has students imagine what it was like to be part of a team attempting to learn about SARS-CoV-2 proteins to the extent that they can use small molecule binding data and protein visualization tools to determine possible candidate drugs to inhibit a viral protease. They learn how to glean data from phylogenetic comparisons, basic information about virology, and basics of drug design as they meet objectives to understand the mechanistic classes of proteases, primary protein structure (using BLAST), multiple protein sequence alignments, secondary/tertiary/quaternary structure explorations (using iCn3D), enzyme inhibition, Kd, Lineweaver-Burk plots, qRT-PCR, and basic in vitro assays. The case study is somewhat modular and adaptable. It is designed to take roughly 3-4 hours.


This version has an embedded key and is an early draft. It is not yet split into fragments.

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