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Int J Biol Macromol ; 188: 391-403, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347646


One of the main structural proteins of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the nucleocapsid protein (N). The basic function of this protein is to bind genomic RNA and to form a protective nucleocapsid in the mature virion. The intrinsic ability of the N protein to interact with nucleic acids makes its purification very challenging. Therefore, typically employed purification methods appear to be insufficient for removing nucleic acid contamination. In this study, we present a novel purification protocol that enables the N protein to be prepared without any bound nucleic acids. We also performed comparative structural analysis of the N protein contaminated with nucleic acids and free of contamination and showed significant differences in the structural and phase separation properties of the protein. These results indicate that nucleic-acid contamination may severely affect molecular properties of the purified N protein. In addition, the notable ability of the N protein to form condensates whose morphology and behaviour suggest more ordered forms resembling gel-like or solid structures is described.

Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Liquid-Liquid Extraction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/chemistry , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/isolation & purification , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/metabolism , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , Nucleic Acids/metabolism , Protein Aggregates , Protein Structure, Quaternary , Protein Structure, Secondary
Molecules ; 26(13)2021 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288957


In the current work, a simple, economical, accurate, and precise HPLC method with UV detection was developed to quantify Favipiravir (FVIR) in spiked human plasma using acyclovir (ACVR) as an internal standard in the COVID-19 pandemic time. Both FVIR and ACVR were well separated and resolved on the C18 column using the mobile phase blend of methanol:acetonitrile:20 mM phosphate buffer (pH 3.1) in an isocratic mode flow rate of 1 mL/min with a proportion of 30:10:60 %, v/v/v. The detector wavelength was set at 242 nm. Maximum recovery of FVIR and ACVR from plasma was obtained with dichloromethane (DCM) as extracting solvent. The calibration curve was found to be linear in the range of 3.1-60.0 µg/mL with regression coefficient (r2) = 0.9976. However, with acceptable r2, the calibration data's heteroscedasticity was observed, which was further reduced using weighted linear regression with weighting factor 1/x. Finally, the method was validated concerning sensitivity, accuracy (Inter and Intraday's % RE and RSD were 0.28, 0.65 and 1.00, 0.12 respectively), precision, recovery (89.99%, 89.09%, and 90.81% for LQC, MQC, and HQC, respectively), stability (% RSD for 30-day were 3.04 and 1.71 for LQC and HQC, respectively at -20 °C), and carry-over US-FDA guidance for Bioanalytical Method Validation for researchers in the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Furthermore, there was no significant difference for selectivity when evaluated at LLOQ concentration of 3 µg/mL of FVIR and relative to the blank.

Amides/analysis , Amides/blood , Antiviral Agents/analysis , Antiviral Agents/blood , Biological Assay/methods , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid/methods , Liquid-Liquid Extraction/methods , Pyrazines/analysis , Pyrazines/blood , Acyclovir/analysis , Acyclovir/blood , COVID-19/blood , Calibration , Drug Stability , Freezing , Humans , Reference Standards , Reproducibility of Results , Solvents/chemistry