Special Issue "Novel Structural Studies of Coronavirus Proteins"

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomolecular Crystals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2022 | Viewed by 2068

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marc Messerschmidt
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Guest Editor
Biodesign Institute, Center for Applied Structural Discovery, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
Interests: chemistry; crystallography; time resolved diffraction; free electron lasers; synchrotron radiation
Dr. Jeney Wierman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Structural Molecular Biology Group, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Menlo Park, CA, USA
Interests: serial crystallography; time-resolved dynamics; metalloenzymes; crystallography methods; room temperature crystallography
Dr. José Manuel Martín-García
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Crystallography & Structural Biology, Institute of Physical Chemistry "Rocasolano", CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Interests: serial crystallography; X-ray free-electron lasers; time-resolved serial crystallography; protein structure and dynamics; structure-based drug discovery
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic’s severity refocused many scientific efforts to research related to SARS-CoV-2. Large facilities worldwide, such as synchrotrons and XFELs, dedicated overwhelming time and energy to this exceptional and ongoing story. The focused timeline and scope of COVID-19 related research will certainly be remembered as an historic effort across many scientific fields, including that of structural biology. Structural studies have shown to be critical in identifying important features for COVID-19 research, and highlighting these studies is a particular motivation for this Special Issue of Crystals. We hope that this serves as a celebration of the contributions from crystallographers worldwide to COVID-19-related research.

Thus, the main goal of this Special Issue, “Novel Structural Studies of Coronavirus Proteins”, will be to gather both research and review articles from experts in the field (chemists, biologists, physicists, and structural biologists), with the ultimate goal of creating an international platform that provides with rich and reference information on the latest advances and exciting discoveries in the field of X-ray crystallography at synchrotrons and XFELs towards understanding the functioning of SARS-CoV-2 to advance develop new drug treatments and vaccines against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof. Dr. Marc Messerschmidt
Dr. Jeney Wierman
Dr. José Manuel Martín-García
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Crystals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Coronavirus
  • SArs-CoV-2
  • Novel structures
  • Crystals
  • Time resolved structures
  • X-ray crystallography
  • Structure-based drug discovery
  • X-ray free electron lasers
  • Synchrotrons

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Case Study of High-Throughput Drug Screening and Remote Data Collection for SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease by Using Serial Femtosecond X-ray Crystallography
Crystals 2021, 11(12), 1579; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11121579 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1264
Since early 2020, COVID-19 has grown to affect the lives of billions globally. A worldwide investigation has been ongoing for characterizing the virus and also for finding an effective drug and developing vaccines. As time has been of the essence, a crucial part [...] Read more.
Since early 2020, COVID-19 has grown to affect the lives of billions globally. A worldwide investigation has been ongoing for characterizing the virus and also for finding an effective drug and developing vaccines. As time has been of the essence, a crucial part of this research has been drug repurposing; therefore, confirmation of in silico drug screening studies have been carried out for this purpose. Here we demonstrated the possibility of screening a variety of drugs efficiently by leveraging a high data collection rate of 120 images/second with the new low-noise, high dynamic range ePix10k2M Pixel Array Detector installed at the Macromolecular Femtosecond Crystallography (MFX) instrument at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). The X-ray Free-Electron Laser (XFEL) is used for remote high-throughput data collection for drug repurposing of the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 at ambient temperature with mitigated X-ray radiation damage. We obtained multiple structures soaked with nine drug candidate molecules in two crystal forms. Although our drug binding attempts failed, we successfully established a high-throughput Serial Femtosecond X-ray crystallographic (SFX) data collection protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Structural Studies of Coronavirus Proteins)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: New X-ray Crystallographic Approaches for Studying Cysteine-Dependent Enzymes
Authors: Nathan Smith; Mark A. Wilson
Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry/Redox Biology Center, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA

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