3D Molecular Modelling Study of the H7N9 RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase as an Emerging Pharmacological Target

Influenza Res Treat. 2013;2013:645348. doi: 10.1155/2013/645348. Epub 2013 Sep 25.


Currently not much is known about the H7N9 strain, and this is the major drawback for a scientific strategy to tackle this virus. Herein, the 3D complex structure of the H7N9 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase has been established using a repertoire of molecular modelling techniques including homology modelling, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulations. Strikingly, it was found that the oligonucleotide cleft and tunnel in the H7N9 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase are structurally very similar to the corresponding region on the hepatitis C virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase crystal structure. A direct comparison and a 3D postdynamics analysis of the 3D complex of the H7N9 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase provide invaluable clues and insight regarding the role and mode of action of a series of interacting residues on the latter enzyme. Our study provides a novel and efficiently intergraded platform with structural insights for the H7N9 RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase. We propose that future use and exploitation of these insights may prove invaluable in the fight against this lethal, ongoing epidemic.