Event date:
Dec 3 2021 10:30 am

Expression, purification, and biochemical assay of SARS-COV-2 RNA dependent RNA polymerase: an inceptive stride towards target-based drug discovery

Dr Syed Shahzad ul Hassan
MS Synopsis defense


Organisms at the edge of life, viruses, in 2019 came up with improved version of one of their wisely equipped agents, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), that created global havoc in the form of the coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) pandemic that has engulfed more than 5 million lives to date. These creatures with up to 28-32kb genome have challenged humans to devise ways to prevent their spread and to treat the populations that have already been affected. Among one of the most captivating targets is one of their sixteen nonstructural proteins i.e., nsp12 that lies at the heart of replication transcription complex (RTC), since it is RNA dependent RNA polymerase which facilitates their genome replication, it is highly conserved and looks like viral specific inhibition target due to the absence of its homologue in humans. Nsp12 along with its two cofactors nsp7 and nsp8 in a stoichiometric ratio of 1:1:2, respectively, serves as a functionally active viral translational machinery.

This study aims to optimize bacterial expression of nsp12, nsp7 and nsp8, their purification using chromatographic techniques and designing an optimized high throughput biochemical assay to identify inhibitors of RDRP from three distinct libraries comprising of natural, synthetic, and commercially available compounds. The selected compound with the best hits will actually be the milestone for a larger project in future to hunt for Anti-SARS-CoV2 efficacious drugs.

Evaluation Committee:

  • Dr Syed Shahzad ul Hassan
  • Dr. Muhammad Tariq