Structural characterization and mechanism-based inhibition of TMPRSS2, a human protease that activates SARS-CoV-2

The novel SARS-Coronavirus-2 becomes activated and is infective after interacting with the human TMPRSS2 enzyme, as it primes the virus to enter and hijack lung cells for viral replication. By designing drugs using a strategy that has shown success in inhibiting enzymes structurally similar to TMPRSS2 and understanding the exact shape of this enzyme in greater detail, highly specific drugs can be engineered to block SARS-CoV-2 activation and alleviate symptoms contributing to COVID-19 mortality. Through a collaboration between BC Cancer and the Structural Genomics Consortium, promising COVID-19 therapeutics predicted to block TMPRSS2 can be produced and tested experimentally, then translated to clinical study in an accelerated manner through the combined expertise of leading scientists and clinicians.

Faculty Supervisor:

Francois Benard


Bryan Fraser


Structural Genomics Consortium




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