A high throughput RNA displacement assay for screening SARS-CoV-2 nsp10-nsp16 complex towards developing therapeutics for COVID-19

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Author Name

Sumera Perveen

Published 3 Projects

Biochemistry

Aliakbar Khalili Yazdi

Published 3 Projects

Biochemistry

Kanchan Devkota

Published 3 Projects

Biochemistry

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Fengling Li

Pegah Ghiabi

Published 3 Projects

Biochemistry

Taraneh Hajian

Published 4 Projects

Biochemistry

Peter Loppnau

Published 2 Projects

Biochemistry

Albina Bolotokova

Published 4 Projects

Biochemistry Cell Biology

Masoud Vedadi

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SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, evades the human immune system by capping its RNA. This process protects the viral RNA and is essential for its replication. Multiple viral proteins are involved in this RNA capping process including the nonstructural protein 16 (nsp16) which is an S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM)-dependent 2'-O-methyltransferase. Nsp16 is significantly active when in complex with another nonstructural protein, nsp10, which plays a key role in its stability and activity. Here we report the development of a fluorescence polarization (FP)-based RNA displacement assay for nsp10-nsp16 complex in 384-well format with a Z′-Factor of 0.6, suitable for high throughput screening. In this process, we purified the nsp10-nsp16 complex to higher than 95% purity and confirmed its binding to the methyl donor SAM, product of the reaction, SAH, and a common methyltransferase inhibitor, sinefungin using Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC). The assay was further validated by screening a library of 1124 drug-like compounds. This assay provides a cost-effective high throughput method for screening nsp10-nsp16 complex for RNA-competitive inhibitors towards developing COVID-19 therapeutics. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

Biochemistry
Biochemistry 9 Projects