Coronavirus formation modelled for first time, may lead to effective drugs

Updated: Oct 4 2022 4:48PM

Los Angeles, Oct 4 (PTI) For the first time, scientists have successfully modelled the formation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, a key step towards developing effective drugs for the deadly disease.

The research, published in the journal Viruses, offers an overall understanding of the assembly and formation of SARS-CoV-2 from its constituent components. "Understanding viral assembly has always been a key step leading to therapeutic strategies," said Roya Zandi, a professor at the University of California in the US. "Numerous experiments and simulations of viruses such as HIV and hepatitis B virus have had a remarkable impact on elucidating their assembly and providing means to combat them. Even the simplest questions regarding the formation of SARS-CoV-2 remain unanswered," Zandi said.

Zandi explained that a critical step in the life cycle of any virus is the packaging of its genome into new virions or virus particles. This is an especially challenging task for coronaviruses, like SARS-CoV-2, with their very large RNA genomes.