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Biomol NMR Assign ; 15(1): 203-211, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1046684


The SARS-CoV-2 (SCoV-2) virus is the causative agent of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It contains a positive sense single-stranded RNA genome and belongs to the genus of Betacoronaviruses. The 5'- and 3'-genomic ends of the 30 kb SCoV-2 genome are potential antiviral drug targets. Major parts of these sequences are highly conserved among Betacoronaviruses and contain cis-acting RNA elements that affect RNA translation and replication. The 31 nucleotide (nt) long highly conserved stem-loop 5a (SL5a) is located within the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) important for viral replication. SL5a features a U-rich asymmetric bulge and is capped with a 5'-UUUCGU-3' hexaloop, which is also found in stem-loop 5b (SL5b). We herein report the extensive 1H, 13C and 15N resonance assignment of SL5a as basis for in-depth structural studies by solution NMR spectroscopy.

5' Untranslated Regions , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Carbon Isotopes , Genes, Viral , Hydrogen , Nitrogen Isotopes , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Structure, Secondary
Nucleic Acids Res ; 48(22): 12415-12435, 2020 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917705


The current pandemic situation caused by the Betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (SCoV2) highlights the need for coordinated research to combat COVID-19. A particularly important aspect is the development of medication. In addition to viral proteins, structured RNA elements represent a potent alternative as drug targets. The search for drugs that target RNA requires their high-resolution structural characterization. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, a worldwide consortium of NMR researchers aims to characterize potential RNA drug targets of SCoV2. Here, we report the characterization of 15 conserved RNA elements located at the 5' end, the ribosomal frameshift segment and the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of the SCoV2 genome, their large-scale production and NMR-based secondary structure determination. The NMR data are corroborated with secondary structure probing by DMS footprinting experiments. The close agreement of NMR secondary structure determination of isolated RNA elements with DMS footprinting and NMR performed on larger RNA regions shows that the secondary structure elements fold independently. The NMR data reported here provide the basis for NMR investigations of RNA function, RNA interactions with viral and host proteins and screening campaigns to identify potential RNA binders for pharmaceutical intervention.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy/methods , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , 3' Untranslated Regions/genetics , Base Sequence , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology