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Rio BioNMR Network



RMN-Rio research network comprises all protein NMR research groups located in Rio de Janeiro (NMR-Rio) and associated groups from other states (CMIB/UNESP). We are centered at the National NMR Center at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (CNRMN/UFRJ).

We have the following objectives:

  • To improve the laboratory infrastructure, especially for the emerging groups.

  • To build an infrastructure for drug screening by NMR.

  • To build infrastructure for protein production on a large scale.

  • To employ the advances in structural biology as a tool to address important biological challenges such as cancer, infectious and parasitic diseases as well as in biotechnology.

  • NMR-Rio network will enable these groups to achieve greater impact and competitiveness in research and innovation.

FAPERJ Grants: Pensa Rio and Emergency Action to combat Covid-19

The group of RMN-Rio research network ha two important grants in Brazil. One thematic grant (Pensa-Rio) and one with emergency actions to combat Covid-19. Our target protein of SARS-CoV-2 virus is the nucleocapsid protein.  This protein is essential for the virus replication and a good target for structure-based drug design. We are focusing in the N-terminal domain and its specific interaction with regulatory motif of the  virus genome (Transcription  Regulatory Sequence).

Covid-19 NMR consortium

The Rio BioNMR network is part of the Covid-19 NMR consortium ( where we aim to contribute assigning the resonances and determining the protein structures of SARS-CoV-2 and also investigating the drugability of those structures by small molecules. Our specific protein target is the nucleocapsid phosphoprotein and its interaction with regulatory regions of the genomic RNA. The resulting data will be made publically available by weekly updates throughout the project prior to publication (

BRICS project

We applied to BRICS RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC COORDINATED CALL together with Índia and South Africa as a strategy to give a quick response to the pandemic. The budget was developed to enable the groups of the RMN-Rio network to contribute to the full project. Our team already has the necessary infrastructure and expertise for agility in determining protein structure and dynamics and in describing important interactions in biological processes. Our specific protein target is the nucleocapsid phosphoprotein and its interaction with regulatory regions of the genomic RNA.

This project is a unique opportunity to move forward towards:


- The installation of a fragment screening platform by NMR strongly impacts the Brazilian, Indian, and South African groups in the rational development of drugs against Covid-19.

- Implementing an infrastructure for the expression of proteins in mammalian cells, which is fundamental for the production of the whole proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and other beta-coronaviruses.

-Structural characterization of the product of ORF10 of SARS-CoV-2.

In India, ORF10 product expression and investigation and description of host proteins (ligands) that bind with ORF10 products will be carried out. The South African group will express the Spike protein (S), nucleoprotein (N), and/or ORF10 product on the surface of the L. casei bacterium, as well as perform the immunogenicity assessment of the oral vaccine produced for these antigens. The research group in Brazil will have a unifying role that will serve as a link between all the subprojects that will be developed in India and South Africa.

Publications on Covid-19:

Dynamics of the N-terminal domain of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein drives dsRNA melting in a counterintuitive tweezer-like mechanism.


Working as a team

nucleocapsid protein
Rio de Janeiro
900 MHz
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
UFRJ - Duque de Caxias

© 2020 by Rio-BioNMR Network.

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