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Cell ; 182(2): 417-428.e13, 2020 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-342735

ABSTRACT

Nucleotide analog inhibitors, including broad-spectrum remdesivir and favipiravir, have shown promise in in vitro assays and some clinical studies for COVID-19 treatment, this despite an incomplete mechanistic understanding of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase nsp12 drug interactions. Here, we examine the molecular basis of SARS-CoV-2 RNA replication by determining the cryo-EM structures of the stalled pre- and post- translocated polymerase complexes. Compared with the apo complex, the structures show notable structural rearrangements happening to nsp12 and its co-factors nsp7 and nsp8 to accommodate the nucleic acid, whereas there are highly conserved residues in nsp12, positioning the template and primer for an in-line attack on the incoming nucleotide. Furthermore, we investigate the inhibition mechanism of the triphosphate metabolite of remdesivir through structural and kinetic analyses. A transition model from the nsp7-nsp8 hexadecameric primase complex to the nsp12-nsp7-nsp8 polymerase complex is also proposed to provide clues for the understanding of the coronavirus transcription and replication machinery.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/metabolism , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/metabolism , Alanine/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Models, Chemical , Models, Molecular , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription, Genetic , Virus Replication
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