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Exploring G and C-quadruplex structures as potential targets against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2

AuthorsBelmonte Reche, Efres; Serrano, Israel; González, Carlos ; Gallo, Juan; Bañobre-López, Manuel
Issue Date20-Aug-2020
AbstractIn this paper we report the analysis of the 2019-nCoV genome and related viruses using an upgraded version of the open-source algorithm G4-iM Grinder. This version improves the functionality of the software, including an easy way to determine the potential biological features affected by the candidates found. The quadruplex definitions of the algorithm were optimized for 2019-nCoV. Using a lax quadruplex definition ruleset, which accepts amongst other parameters two residue G- and C-tracks, hundreds of potential quadruplex candidates were discovered. These sequences were evaluated by their in vitro formation probability, their position in the viral RNA, their uniqueness and their conservation rates (calculated in over three thousand different COVID-19 clinical cases and sequenced at different times and locations during the ongoing pandemic). These results were compared sequentially to other Coronaviridae members, other Group IV (+)ssRNA viruses and the entire realm. Sequences found in common with other species were further analyzed and characterized. Sequences with high scores unique to the 2019-nCoV were studied to investigate the variations amongst similar species. Quadruplex formation of the best candidates was then confirmed experimentally. Using NMR and CD spectroscopy, we found several highly stable RNA quadruplexes that may be suitable theranostic targets against the 2019-nCoV.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.19.257493
Appears in Collections:(IQFR) Artículos
(VICYT) Colección Especial COVID-19
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