GRIB. Research Unit on Biomedical Informatics

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Join this seminar "Bioinformatics for Neuroscience Research: omics, statistics and data analysis" by Dr. Júlia Perera, on Wednesday 12nd of January at 12:00 h.

We invite you to the next IMIM Seminar on Hottopics in Neuroscience that will take place on Wednesday 12/1/2022 at 12:00 h. Dr. Júlia Perera (Bioinformatics Unit, MARGenomics & GRIB) will talk about "Bioinformatics for Neuroscience Research: omics, statistics and data analysis".

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From left to right: Jana Selent and Mariona Torrens-Fontanals.

New online tool for predicting the impact of SARS-CoV-2 mutations on its protein components

Press Release IMIM 14/12/2021

Researchers now have a new tool available for tackling SARS-CoV-2, analysing this virus, and finding new ways to fight COVID-19, namely the SCoV2-MD database (available at The resource houses detailed atomic, dynamic and 3D information on all known 3D-structured proteins in this coronavirus. In total, it contains 360 gigabits of data covering the majority of the 29 proteins: four structural, sixteen non-structural, and nine accessory proteins. Nucleic Acids Research has published a paper on how it works, which it considers to be one of the most prominent articles ever published in the journal.

"What is really novel is that we use dynamic data combined with the evolution of the virus to predict its impact on protein function", explains Jana Selent, lead author of the paper on this new tool. To do this, "In addition to protein behaviour simulations, the information available on the genetics of the virus has been taken into account to calculate and predict the impact of mutations", adds Toni Giorgino, co-lead author of the article. This makes SCoV2-MD a useful tool for visualising how these SARS-CoV-2 mutations will affect its ability to transmit and infect human cells through the changes produced in their constituent proteins.

Meanwhile, this new tool can also help researchers develop new treatments and vaccines against COVID-19. "Watching the simulations allows us to see and understand how it behaves, how it works, and which parts of the protein's structure are important and possible targets for new treatments", says Mariona Torrens-Fontanals, also a researcher at GPCR Drug Discovery Group of IMIM and first author of the study. It even makes it possible to predict whether coronavirus mutations could affect the ability of the antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines to recognise the virus and activate the immune system against it.

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IMPaCT Data es el Programa de Ciencia de Datos de la Infraestructura de Medicina de Precisión asociada a la Ciencia y la Tecnología (IMPaCT), en el que participan 47 instituciones de todas las comunidades, con institutos de investigación sanitaria, empresas, universidades o centros de investigación. Este proyecto está financiado por el Instituto de Salud Carlos III para el periodo 2021 a 2023.

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