Targeting SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) methyltransferases (nsp10-nsp14 and nsp10-nsp16 complexes) toward developing small molecule antiviral therapeutics
COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to standstill with more than 3 million people infected and more than 200 000 mortality so far. It has literally brought the health care systems in many countries to the breaking point, if not beyond. The economic consequences have been devastating with millions of people out of work. We are taking a novel approach by focusing on two SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) methyltransferases that are essential for viral replication. Both enzymes (nsp14 and nsp16) are druggable. Therefore, identifying potent inhibitor of these two proteins could be used in providing new therapeutics for COVID-19. In addition, because these proteins are highly similar in other coronaviruses such as SARS (SARS-Cov) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), the same drugs likely could be effective in treatment of other coronavirus infections.