An international team led by Justin Reese, a research scientist in the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) Division, analyzed electronic health record data aggregated in the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) Data Enclave to assess whether metformin is associated with reduced COVID-19 severity in people with prediabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), two common conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 presentation.
A team of researchers led by NCXT Director Carolyn Larabell, in collaboration with scientists at Heidelberg University in Germany, used a technique called soft X-ray tomography (SXT) to quickly scan and analyze human lung cells infected with SARS-CoV-2. SXT not only significantly shortens the time frame, but provides more detail—increasing the chances of distinguishing subtle changes in the cell.
Researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine employed previously constructed DNA-encoded chemistry technology (DEC-tec) libraries to identify several candidate molecules that could inhibit the action of Mpro, the main protease of SARS-CoV-2. In a recent study, the researchers described CDD-1713, a new inhibitor to the enzyme Mpro that is involved in propagating the virus. The X-ray crystallographic data, which was collected by Banumathi Sankaran in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division, allowed the researchers to determine that CDD-1713 inhibits the activity of Mpro by binding in the active site of this enzyme.
An antibody therapy that appears to neutralize all known SARS-CoV-2 strains, and other coronaviruses, was developed with a little help from structural biologist Jay Nix.
Papain-like protease (PLpro) from SARS-CoV-2 plays essential roles in the replication cycle of the virus that is the cause of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In human cells that the virus has infected, PLpro seeks out and binds with the interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) protein, a key component of the cells’ immune response. PLpro strips ISG15 from other cellular proteins to aid SARS-CoV-2 in evading the body’s immune system.
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) used small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) combined with computational techniques to reveal the molecular details of how the two proteins interact. Susan Tsutakawa, a staff scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, obtained small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) data on the PLpro-ISG15 complex at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) to augment the SANS work.