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Structural basis of anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of HCQ: specific binding to N protein to disrupt its interaction with nucleic acids and LLPS
SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein plays the essential roles in key steps of the viral life cycle, thus representing a top drug target. Functionality of N protein including liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) depends on its interaction with nucleic acids. Only the variants with N proteins functional in binding nucleic acids might survive and spread in evolution and indeed, the residues critical for binding nucleic acids are highly conserved. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was shown to prevent thedoi:10.1017/qrd.2021.12 fatcat:46ynm2dponhv7ovktnsoersbua