Simulations of Coronavirus Entering Cells Could Boost Drug Design

Spike protein of the coronavirus attaching itself to the cell’s membrane. Credit: Cornell University

Getting ready to design inhibitors

The research kicked off after a group of virologists working in coronavirus research at Cornell University in Ithaca contacted Weinstein’s team in April. They needed help on a project aimed at better understanding the function of SARS-CoV-2. At that point, there wasn’t any specific molecular level structural information about this very dynamic and flexible region of the viral spike protein, or what happens to it during its interaction with the membrane. “That’s why this region had never been targeted for inhibition,” says Weinstein.

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