3D visualisation of COVID-19 surface released for researchers
A new 3D model of the surface of the coronavirus COVID-19 has been released, to aid researchers in the development of a treatment.
Credit: Fusion Animation
A three-dimensional (3D) model of the surface of the coronavirus COVID-19 has been developed. Created by Fusion Animation, the new model is available for free for scientists to use in the development of treatments to combat the condition.
The model was created by assembling 3D parts together from related COVID-19 coronavirus structures available in public databases. The components used by the developers include:
- Spike (S) protein (PDB code – 6CRV)
- Envelope (E) protein (PDB code – 5X29)
- Membrane (M) protein (PDB code – 3I6G)
They note that the M protein shown is complexed with HLA-A *02 (human leukocyte antigen serotype).
The distribution of these proteins on the surface of the virus was aligned by a random algorithm. The overall representation surface protein density has been reduced to help show S, E and M proteins. The M lipid itself was generated using a particle system to produce a random and organic result.
The models were cross-referenced with information from Korkinlab, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), US. The scientists at WPI used a recently published viral genome of the coronavirus made available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information. They then used molecular modelling to reconstruct the 3D structure of major viral proteins and their interactions with human proteins. Their COVID-19 structural genomics map is available to researchers and anyone worldwide.
“We’re confident that our data and visual models could provide the guidance for experimental scientists worldwide who are working feverishly to solve this pandemic,” said Professor Dmitry Korkin, director of the WPI’s bioinformatics and computational biology programme.
According to the developers, the inner structures of the COVID-19 virus are currently being investigated and incorporated into a new visualisation.
Fusion Animation, Korkinlab, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Worcester Polytechnic Institute