Molecule of the Month: Hepatitis C Virus Protease/Helicase
Structures of hepatitis C viral proteins have led to the discovery of direct-acting antivirals.
Exploring the Structure
The active site of the HCV protease is a tricky target, because it doesn't have a deep pocket like many other enzyme active sites. Medicinal chemists have overcome this challenge in two ways. Early breakthrough antivirals boceprevir and telaprevir (PDB entries 2oc8 and 3sv6) form a reversible covalent bond with the active site serine amino acid, helping to lock the drug to the surface of the enzyme. Unfortunately, these have unwelcome side effects. Later generation drugs such as grazoprevir, glecaprevir, and voxilaprevir (PDB entries 3sue, 6p6l, and 6nzt), which are now in widespread use, have a large cyclic structure that grips the protein surface. To explore these structures in more detail, click on the image for an interactive JSmol.
December 2020, David Goodsellhttp://doi.org/10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2020_12