The recent interactome study published by the QCRG has identified over 300 proteins in human cells which interact with SARS CoV2 proteins shining light on many cellular pathways that the virus impinges on. To gain molecular understanding of these interactions we have organized the QCRG Structural Biology Consortium. The consortium currently includes around 60 people from over 15 labs at UCSF and is mostly driven by the volunteer effort on the part of graduate students, postdocs and faculty.
Such organization is unprecedented and incredibly powerful as it allows for an unhindered flow of ideas and expertise. It also provides access to the technology and equipment available throughout this community. Utilizing the latest advances in protein expression, purification, crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy we have established a pipeline through which we prioritize the viral-host protein complexes, express and quickly screen them for most tractable ones and enter such candidates into either crystallography or cryoEM trials.
We also have a particular focus in leveraging high throughput x-ray crystallography for drug discovery. Ultimately, as a consortium we have the knowledge, the equipment, the organization, the man power and the passion to rapidly bring mechanistic molecular understanding to the way CoV2 hijacks the human cells indubitably leading to novel approaches to inhibit SARS CoV2 and deleterious host responses.
Klim Verba and Oren Rosenberg, tell the story of how the “QCRG Structural Biology Consortium” started and continues to play an important role in collaborative science and in understanding how viruses inactivate human cells and turn them into virus-making factories. Through structural biology, the group is able to visualize pathogenetic processes at the atomic level and aims to turn new insights into drugs and therapies for viruses, like SARS-CoV-2.
Kliment A Verba
Un Seng Chio
Roberto Efraín Díaz
Tsz Kin Martin Tsui
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