Table of Contents
Influenza Research and Treatment
Volume 2013, Article ID 645348, 9 pages
Research Article

3D Molecular Modelling Study of the H7N9 RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase as an Emerging Pharmacological Target

Bioinformatics & Medical Informatics Team, Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, Soranou Efessiou 4, 11527 Athens, Greece

Received 5 June 2013; Revised 18 July 2013; Accepted 11 August 2013

Academic Editor: Prasert Auewarakul

Copyright © 2013 Dimitrios Vlachakis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Currently not much is known about the H7N9 strain, and this is the major drawback for a scientific strategy to tackle this virus. Herein, the 3D complex structure of the H7N9 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase has been established using a repertoire of molecular modelling techniques including homology modelling, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulations. Strikingly, it was found that the oligonucleotide cleft and tunnel in the H7N9 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase are structurally very similar to the corresponding region on the hepatitis C virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase crystal structure. A direct comparison and a 3D postdynamics analysis of the 3D complex of the H7N9 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase provide invaluable clues and insight regarding the role and mode of action of a series of interacting residues on the latter enzyme. Our study provides a novel and efficiently intergraded platform with structural insights for the H7N9 RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase. We propose that future use and exploitation of these insights may prove invaluable in the fight against this lethal, ongoing epidemic.