A severe atypical pneumonia designated as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) by The World Health Organization broke out in China and menaced to more than other 30 countries between the end of the year 2002 and June of the year 2003. A novel coronavirus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) has been recently identified as the etiological agent responsible for the infectious SARS disease. Based on extensively scientific cooperation and almost two-years studies, remarkable achievements have been made in the understanding of the phylogenetic property and the genome organization of SARS-CoV, as well as the detailed characters of the major proteins involved in SARS-CoV life cycle. In this review, we would like to summarize the substantial scientific progress that has been made towards the structural and functional aspects of SARS-CoV associated key proteins. The progress focused on the corresponding key proteins structure-based drug and vaccine developments has been also highlighted. The concerted and cooperative response for the treatment of the SARS disease has been proved to be a triumph of global public health and provides a new paradigm for the detection and control of future emerging infectious disease threats.
Keywords: Atypical pneumonia, SARS Coronavirus, SARS-CoV genome-encoded major proteins, structural and functional characterization, nhibitor design and screening, structure-based drug development
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Published on: 01 March, 2012
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