What is it about?

As of early 2022, very few drugs have been approved by the World Health Organization to treat critical COVID-19 cases. One of them is remdesivir. Remdesivir is an antiviral medicine originally developed to treat Ebola. There is evidence that remdesivir prevents various types of coronaviruses from replicating. It can also improve the health of patients with severe COVID-19. But the exact chemistry for remdesivir’s action on the novel coronavirus remains unclear. In this study, the authors used computer simulation methods for molecules to find out how remdesivir binds to two important proteins on COVID-19.

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Why is it important?

This study revealed, for the first time, the proteins on the novel coronavirus that remdesivir binds to. It also showed that the molecular binding forces are different in either case. The researchers also pinpointed the subunits of the proteins, called protein residues, that contribute to the largest binding forces to remdesivir. This information will help design new drugs for COVID-19. The techniques and overall approach of this study should also be applicable to other drugs and infections. KEY TAKEAWAY: The findings of this study explain why remdesivir is effective for treating COVID-19 and pave the way to the development of new drugs.

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This page is a summary of: Remdesivir Strongly Binds to Both RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase and Main Protease of SARS-CoV-2: Evidence from Molecular Simulations, The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, December 2020, American Chemical Society (ACS),
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.0c07312.
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