Warning: We observe an increase of emails from fake travel portals like . "travelhosting.co.uk". We never send links to such portals so be vigilant!

Jun 8 – 11, 2021 Online only
Europe/Berlin timezone
Note: Each session block has its own zoom session, so please choose the correct link from the timetable!

Structure of SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease PLpro reveals a framework for antiviral inhibitor design

Jun 10, 2021, 4:00 PM
Talk Neutrons in the fight against virus diseases Neutrons in the fight against virus diseases


Dr Vasundara Srinivasan (Universität Hamburg, Department of Chemistry)


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) papain-like protease (PLpro) is essential for the virus replication. PLpro has the additional function of removing ubiquitin and ISG15 (Interferon-stimulated gene 15) from host-cell proteins to aid coronaviruses in their evasion of the host innate immune responses. PLpro is thus an excellent drug target for a two-fold strategy to develop antiviral compounds that both inhibit viral replication and strengthen the immune response of the host. To provide a structural framework for efficient screening of inhibitor compounds, we expressed, purified and crystallized PLpro. The crystals are stable, reproducible, have a high solvent content of 66% suitable for soaking experiments and diffract to a high resolution of 1.5 Å. Bioinformatics analysis of the active site region based on the PLpro crystal structure coordinates showed interestingly high similarities to the proteasome active site and we screened 37 proteosome inhibitors by soaking and co-crystallization experiments. The PLpro crystals complexed with these compounds diffracted in the resolution range of 1.5 Å-2.5 Å and structural efforts to identify new antiviral compounds to combat the coronavirus spread will be presented.

Primary author

Dr Vasundara Srinivasan (Universität Hamburg, Department of Chemistry)


Mrs Nadine Werner (Universität Hamburg, Department of Chemistry) Mr Sven Falke (Universität Hamburg, Department of Chemistry) Mrs Hévila Brognaro (Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, DESY) Mr Sebastian Günther (Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, DESY) Mr Patrick Y. A. Reinke (Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, DESY) Mrs Christiane Ehrt (Universität Hamburg, Center for Bioinformatics) Mr Matthias Rarey (Universität Hamburg, Center for Bioinformatics) Dr Alke Meents (Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, DESY,) Prof. Christian Betzel (Universität Hamburg, Department of Chemistry)

Presentation materials

There are no materials yet.