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Minireview of progress in the structural study of SARS-CoV-2 proteins

A severe form of pneumonia, named #coronavirus disease 2019 ( #COVID19 ) by the World Health Organization, broke out in China and rapidly developed into a global pandemic, with millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths reported globally. The novel coronavirus, which was designated as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the etiological agent of COVID-19. On the basis of experience accumulated following previous SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV outbreaks and research, a series of studies have been conducted rapidly, and major progress has been achieved with regard to the understanding of the phylogeny and genomic organization of SARS-CoV-2 in addition its molecular mechanisms of infection and replication. In the present review, we summarized crucial developments in the elucidation of the structure and function of key SARS-CoV-2 proteins, especially the main protease, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, spike glycoprotein, and nucleocapsid protein. Results of studies on their associated inhibitors and drugs have also been highlighted.

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