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“Bucket brigade” of remdesivir in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of SARS-CoV-2

 The process of remdesivir uptake into the protein (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) that replicates the gene of SARS-CoV-2 was revealed by molecular dynamics simulations. Remdesivir has a phosphate group with a negative charge, and the binding site of RNA polymerase has Mg2+ ions. In addition, RNA polymerase has lysine residues, which are positively charged, in a line toward the binding site. It was found that the lysine residue attracts the phosphate group of remdesivir and passes it to the next lysine residue sequentially, transporting the drug to the binding site like a bucket brigade.

S. Tanimoto, S. G. Itoh, and H. Okumura: Biophys. J. (2021), DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2021.07.026, “Bucket brigade” using lysine residues in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of SARS-CoV-2