Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University

IKBFU Research helps in the Development of Antiviral Drugs

7 February 2018
Viruses affect all living organisms, and the diseases and mortality caused by them present a serious problem for humankind.

Researchers are now interested in the study of a viral capsid, which serves as a protective container for the viral genome. The study of its structure helps to identify vulnerabilities of the virus and sheds light on the fundamental properties of viruses. It allows researchers to design targeted antiviral drugs. Elvira Tarasova, senior laboratory assistant (IKBFU Institute of Living Systems), in cooperation with colleagues from other higher educational institutions - Ivan Korotkin, Vladimir Farafonov, Sergey Karabasov, and Dmitry Nerukh, have created a computer model of the protein envelope (capsid) of a real virus, whose function is to protect the genetic material of the virus.

Based on the constructed model, the research group studied the properties of the capsid as well as factors ensuring its stability.

The article "The Whole Viral Capsid in Polatomic Resolution: Modeling Using Molecular Dynamics and the Hybrid Method of Molecular Dynamics/Hydrodynamics" described the functions of a semipermeable membrane. The article was published in the Journal of Molecular Liquids. All the calculations and modelling were done using UK based computing clusters and one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world (K-computer, RIKEN, Japan). In 2017, Elvira Tarasova became one of the winners of the award granted by "Japan Society for the Promotion of Science".

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