VirusMED: An atlas of hotspots of viral proteins

Huihui Zhang, Pei Chen, Haojie Ma, Magdalena Woinska, Dejian Liu, David R. Cooper, Guo Peng, Yousong Peng, Lei Deng, Wladek Minor, Heping Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Metal binding sites, antigen epitopes and drug binding sites are the hotspots in viral proteins that control how viruses interact with their hosts. virusMED (virus Metal binding sites, Epitopes and Drug binding sites) is a rich internet application based on a database of atomic interactions around hotspots in 7041 experimentally determined viral protein structures. 25306 hotspots from 805 virus strains from 75 virus families were characterized, including influenza, HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Just as Google Maps organizes and annotates points of interest, virusMED presents the positions of individual hotspots on each viral protein and creates an atlas upon which newly characterized functional sites can be placed as they are being discovered. virusMED contains an extensive set of annotation tags about the virus species and strains, viral hosts, viral proteins, metal ions, specific antibodies and FDA-approved drugs, which permits rapid screening of hotspots on viral proteins tailored to a particular research problem. The virusMED portal ( can serve as a window to a valuable resource for many areas of virus research and play a critical role in the rational design of new preventative and therapeutic agents targeting viral infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-942
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiviral drugs
  • DrugBank
  • Epitopes
  • Viral metal proteins
  • Viral protein structures
  • Virus hotspots
  • virusMED database


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