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Secondary Structure Determination of Conserved SARS-CoV-2 RNA Elements by NMR Spectroscopy

Christian Richter from GU Frankfurt will discuss how he and his colleagues are part of the organization researching COVID19 with NMR.

The fight against the global pandemic caused by the SARSCoV2 virus is currently the greatest challenge for society and science. Through an initiative of NMR research groups at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, an international consortium of 30 groups has been formed since the end of March 2020. Using NMR spectroscopy, all proteins relevant to the virus are being structurally investigated and RNA elements are forming potential targets for new drugs. Furthermore, RNA and proteins will be screened against a fragment library which is designed for an easy follow up chemistry. We concentrate on RNA-Part of the project and introduce the biochemical background, the NMR assignment strategy and show screening results.


Dr. Anna Wacker

Anna Wacker works as a PostDoc in the Schwalbe Lab. Her main research focus lies on conserved RNA elements involved in regulatory pathways in prokaryotes. For Covid19-NMR, she uses her experience in RNA structural characterization by NMR spectroscopy to coordinate the workflow of RNA sample design, production, measurement, assignment and screening.

Dr. Christian Richter

Christian Richter is an NMR expert who is jointly responsible for the supervision of the high-resolution NMR spectrometers at the institute. He has also developed new NMR experiments for the conformational determination of RNA. In addition, he has developed methods for side chain assignment in unfolded protein. C. Richter has also established fragment based screening experiments for RNA and proteins in the institute.