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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1178, 2022 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730285

ABSTRACT

Recently emerged variants of SARS-CoV-2 contain in their surface spike glycoproteins multiple substitutions associated with increased transmission and resistance to neutralising antibodies. We have examined the structure and receptor binding properties of spike proteins from the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.351 (Beta) variants to better understand the evolution of the virus in humans. Spikes of both variants have the same mutation, N501Y, in the receptor-binding domains. This substitution confers tighter ACE2 binding, dependent on the common earlier substitution, D614G. Each variant spike has acquired other key changes in structure that likely impact virus pathogenesis. The spike from the Alpha variant is more stable against disruption upon binding ACE2 receptor than all other spikes studied. This feature is linked to the acquisition of a more basic substitution at the S1-S2 furin site (also observed for the variants of concern Delta, Kappa, and Omicron) which allows for near-complete cleavage. In the Beta variant spike, the presence of a new substitution, K417N (also observed in the Omicron variant), in combination with the D614G, stabilises a more open spike trimer, a conformation required for receptor binding. Our observations suggest ways these viruses have evolved to achieve greater transmissibility in humans.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Mutation, Missense , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/ultrastructure , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Kinetics , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324108

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses of bats and pangolins are implicated in the origin and evolution of the pandemic SARS-CoV-2. We show that Spikes from Pangolin-CoVs, closely related to SARS-CoV-2, bind strongly to human and pangolin ACE2 receptors. We also report Cryo-EM structure of Pangolin-CoV S and show it adopts a fully-closed conformation and that, aside from the Receptor-Binding Domain, it resembles the spike of a bat coronavirus RaTG13 more than that of SARS-CoV-2.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324107

ABSTRACT

Variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged which contain multiple substitutions in the surface spike glycoprotein that have been associated with increased transmission and resistance to neutralising antibodies and antisera. We have examined the structure and receptor binding properties of spike proteins from the B.1.1.7 (UK) and B.1.351 (SA) variants to better understand the evolution of the virus in humans. Both variants’ spikes have the same mutation, N501Y, in their receptor-binding domains that confers tighter ACE2 binding and this substitution relies on a common earlier substitution (D614G) to achieve the tighter binding. Each variant spike has also acquired a key change in structure that impacts virus pathogenesis. Unlike other SARS-CoV-2 spikes, the spike from the UK variant is stable against detrimerisation on binding ACE2. This feature primarily arises from the acquisition of a substitution at the S1-S2 furin site that allows for near-complete cleavage. In the SA variant spike, the presence of a new substitution, K417N, again on the background of the D614G substitution, enables the spike trimer to adopt fully open conformations that are required for receptor binding. Both types of structural change likely contribute to the increased effectiveness of these viruses for infecting human cells.

4.
Biochem J ; 478(13): 2405-2423, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1292181

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global public health challenge. While the efficacy of vaccines against emerging and future virus variants remains unclear, there is a need for therapeutics. Repurposing existing drugs represents a promising and potentially rapid opportunity to find novel antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. The virus encodes at least nine enzymatic activities that are potential drug targets. Here, we have expressed, purified and developed enzymatic assays for SARS-CoV-2 nsp13 helicase, a viral replication protein that is essential for the coronavirus life cycle. We screened a custom chemical library of over 5000 previously characterized pharmaceuticals for nsp13 inhibitors using a fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based high-throughput screening approach. From this, we have identified FPA-124 and several suramin-related compounds as novel inhibitors of nsp13 helicase activity in vitro. We describe the efficacy of these drugs using assays we developed to monitor SARS-CoV-2 growth in Vero E6 cells.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , RNA Helicases/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Enzyme Assays , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , High-Throughput Screening Assays , RNA Helicases/metabolism , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Suramin/pharmacology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(9)2021 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1080743

ABSTRACT

The majority of currently circulating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viruses have mutant spike glycoproteins that contain the D614G substitution. Several studies have suggested that spikes with this substitution are associated with higher virus infectivity. We use cryo-electron microscopy to compare G614 and D614 spikes and show that the G614 mutant spike adopts a range of more open conformations that may facilitate binding to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, ACE2, and the subsequent structural rearrangements required for viral membrane fusion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virus Internalization
6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 837, 2021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065863

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses of bats and pangolins have been implicated in the origin and evolution of the pandemic SARS-CoV-2. We show that spikes from Guangdong Pangolin-CoVs, closely related to SARS-CoV-2, bind strongly to human and pangolin ACE2 receptors. We also report the cryo-EM structure of a Pangolin-CoV spike protein and show it adopts a fully-closed conformation and that, aside from the Receptor-Binding Domain, it resembles the spike of a bat coronavirus RaTG13 more than that of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Evolution, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Binding, Competitive , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Pangolins/virology , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
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