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Chemistry Colloquium: Dr. Xiaohong Tan, March 6

Dr. Xiaohong Tan will be the guest speaker for the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Colloquium on March 6th "Prepare for SARS-CoV-3. Dr. Tan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Center for Photochemical Sciences at Bowling Green State University.


The potential emergence of SARS-CoV-3 in the future signifies the arrival of a new Beta-coronavirus following SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2. Over the past two decades, three Beta-coronaviruses have led to severe pandemics: SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. Beta-coronaviruses employ their viral spike proteins on the surface to interact with human cell receptors. Notably, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein consists of two subunits, S1 and S2. The S2 subunit exhibits remarkable conservation across the entire coronavirus family. For instance, the S2 domains of both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 share a high degree of similarity, with approximately 93.1% conserved residues. Given these scientific findings, it is reasonable to expect that the hypothetical SARS-CoV-3 will also feature a highly conserved S2 domain. Consequently, the substantial structural and sequence conservation of S2 holds great promise for the development of universal cross-reactive therapeutics and vaccines. During this presentation, I will introduce universal DNA aptamers designed to target conserved domains, such as S2, in the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Our research has demonstrated that these aptamers can universally recognize the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-1 as well. We believe that these aptamer tools can be a valuable resource in preparation for the potential emergence of SARS-CoV-3 in the future.

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