Manipulation of Membrane Curvature by Designer Peptides for Battling COVID-19 Infection
Award from the COVID-19 HPC Consortium
Investigator: Qiang Cui
Affiliation: Boston University
The G. C. L. Wong lab at UCLA recently identified antimicrobial peptides (AMP)-like sequences in the SARS-CoV-2 genome with high membrane remodeling activity, a process that affects key events in the infection cycle of the virus. In preliminary studies, they further showed evidence that creation of new "inverse translocation peptides" (ITPs) could lead to a potentially effective strategy that mitigates COVID-19 infection. The goal of this project’s computational study is to work closely with the Wong lab to understand the factors (sequence and membrane composition) that dictate the membrane activity of ITPs and their effect on the structure of the membranes by the AMP-like sequences of SARS-CoV-2. Insights from these studies will guide the design of new ITPs for battling virus infection. The computations will combine atomistic and coarse-grained simulations.
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