Date of Award
Human coronaviruses are responsible for a number of physiological ailments and include illnesses such as the common cold, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), pneumonia, and COVID-19. While vaccines exist for a multitude of pathogenic viruses that exists today, human coronaviruses are not among those that possess a stable and efficacious vaccine available on the market. Attempts to make an inhibitor against coronaviruses have targeted the active site and substrate binding sites of a protease known as non-structural protein 5 (Nsp5), however these attempts have failed to date. Models of the structure of MHV Nsp5 show a high level of similarities to the Nsp5 structures of human clinical strains such as HKU1, OC43, NL63, and 229E that combine to cause the common cold 8,10. There are also a high level of similarities to the Nsp5 stucture to the more recently discovered SARS-CoV-2. A unique loop region found between two structural domains of the protease Nsp5 called the interdomain loop (IDL) has been poorly characterized. In this study, I aim to determine the role of the MHV IDL through the analysis of a series of viral mutations introduced throughout the IDL region of the virus.
Nick, Benjamin, "Exploring the functionality and role of the Interdomain Loop (IDL) of Mouse Hepatitis Virus (MHV) Protease nsp5" (2020). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 512.