Coronavirus's Tangled Strands of RNA Could Offer New Ways to Treat People Who Get Infected

Zafferani COVID RNA

COVID19 cases are receding in some parts of the world but surging in other parts, especially those with limited access to vaccines, ultimately making the entire world population a vulnerable prey of the constantly emerging new variants. In a recent Science Advances publication, Martina Zafferani of the Hargrove Lab and collaborators tackled the problem by developing antivirals that take direct aim at SARS-CoV-2 RNA structure. They identified amiloride derivatives that can latch onto 3D RNA structures within the SARS-CoV2 genome and block the virus’s ability to replicate. This publication constitutes the first example of an RNA-targeted SARS-CoV2 antiviral, and provides an exciting avenue for development of CoV antivirals to fight the current and future pandemics. Read more about their work in the most recent Science Advances edition here.