2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Computational Drug Design to Inhibit the Zika NS2B/NS3 Protease

Lizzie Cremer
Dr. Bill R. Miller, Faculty Mentor

The Zika Virus (ZIKV) is a single-stranded RNA flavivirus that is spread via mosquitoes. Zika outbreaks have primarily affected areas of Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The symptoms, including a fever and rash, are often mild in adults if present at all. More notably, the virus can be transmitted from mother to fetus resulting in birth defects including microcephaly and brain calcification. There is no approved vaccination or medication to prevent or treat ZIKV. The Zika genome encodes a precursor polyprotein which is cleaved by the viral NS2B/NS3 protease to produce functional proteins. Inhibition of the vital NS2B/NS3 protease prevents viral replication. Using docking and molecular dynamics, we have modeled interactions between potential drugs and the active site of the protease. We have screened over 20 million drugs, and our preliminary data has discovered several which outperform previously identified lead drugs.

Keywords: Zika, Drug Design

Topic(s):Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Computer Science

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 105-4
Location: MG 2001
Time: 9:15

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