As part of an International consortium aiming at the characterization by NMR of the proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we have obtained the virtually complete assignment of the backbone atoms of the non-structural protein nsp9 . This small (12 kDa) protein is encoded by ORF1a, binds to RNA and seems to be essential for viral RNA synthesis . The crystal structures of the SARS-CoV-2 protein and other homologues suggest that the protein is dimeric as also confirmed by analytical ultracentrifugation and dynamic light scattering . Our data constitute the prerequisite for further NMR-based characterization, and provide the starting point for the identification of small molecule lead compounds that could interfere with RNA binding and prevent viral replication.
Index: Coronavirus, Covid-19 NMR, Protein, SARS-CoV-2, Solution NMR, Structure