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1.
Nat Struct Mol Biol ; 29(3): 250-260, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735263

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 nonstructural proteins coordinate genome replication and gene expression. Structural analyses revealed the basis for coupling of the essential nsp13 helicase with the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) where the holo-RdRp and RNA substrate (the replication-transcription complex or RTC) associated with two copies of nsp13 (nsp132-RTC). One copy of nsp13 interacts with the template-RNA in an opposing polarity to the RdRp and is envisaged to drive the RdRp backward on the RNA template (backtracking), prompting questions as to how the RdRp can efficiently synthesize RNA in the presence of nsp13. Here we use cryogenic-electron microscopy and molecular dynamics simulations to analyze the nsp132-RTC, revealing four distinct conformational states of the helicases. The results indicate a mechanism for the nsp132-RTC to turn backtracking on and off, using an allosteric mechanism to switch between RNA synthesis or backtracking in response to stimuli at the RdRp active site.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , RNA Helicases/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication
2.
mSphere ; 6(6): e0071121, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546463

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to identify additional antiviral small molecules to complement existing therapies. Although increasing evidence suggests that metabolites produced by the human microbiome have diverse biological activities, their antiviral properties remain poorly explored. Using a cell-based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay, we screened culture broth extracts from a collection of phylogenetically diverse human-associated bacteria for the production of small molecules with antiviral activity. Bioassay-guided fractionation uncovered three bacterial metabolites capable of inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection. This included the nucleoside analogue N6-(Δ2-isopentenyl)adenosine, the 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor agonist tryptamine, and the pyrazine 2,5-bis(3-indolylmethyl)pyrazine. The most potent of these, N6-(Δ2-isopentenyl)adenosine, had a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 2 µM. These natural antiviral compounds exhibit structural and functional similarities to synthetic drugs that have been clinically examined for use against COVID-19. Our discovery of structurally diverse metabolites with anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity from screening a small fraction of the bacteria reported to be associated with the human microbiome suggests that continued exploration of phylogenetically diverse human-associated bacteria is likely to uncover additional small molecules that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 as well as other viral infections. IMPORTANCE The continued prevalence of COVID-19 and the emergence of new variants has once again put the spotlight on the need for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 antivirals. The human microbiome produces an array of small molecules with bioactivities (e.g., host receptor ligands), but its ability to produce antiviral small molecules is relatively underexplored. Here, using a cell-based screening platform, we describe the isolation of three microbiome-derived metabolites that are able to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. These molecules display structural similarities to synthetic drugs that have been explored for the treatment of COVID-19, and these results suggest that the microbiome may be a fruitful source of the discovery of small molecules with antiviral activities.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Bacteria/metabolism , Culture Media/chemistry , Metabolic Networks and Pathways , Microbiota/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Symbiosis/physiology , Bacteria/chemistry , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/growth & development , Biological Assay , Cell Line, Tumor , Culture Media/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Binding
3.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source], Grey literature | ID: grc-750506

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the 2019-2020 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 genome is replicated-transcribed by the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase holoenzyme (subunits nsp7/nsp82/nsp12) along with a cast of accessory factors. One of these factors is the nsp13 helicase. Both the holo-RdRp and nsp13 are essential for viral replication and are targets for treating the disease COVID-19. Here we present cryo-electron microscopic structures of the SARS-CoV-2 holo-RdRp with an RNA template-product in complex with two molecules of the nsp13 helicase. The Nidovirus-order-specific N-terminal domains of each nsp13 interact with the N-terminal extension of each copy of nsp8. One nsp13 also contacts the nsp12-thumb. The structure places the nucleic acid-binding ATPase domains of the helicase directly in front of the replicating-transcribing holo-RdRp, constraining models for nsp13 function. We also observe ADP-Mg2+ bound in the nsp12 N-terminal nidovirus RdRp-associated nucleotidyltransferase domain, detailing a new pocket for anti-viral therapeutic development.

4.
Enzymes ; 49: 1-37, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370416

ABSTRACT

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has spurred research in the biology of the nidovirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Much focus has been on the viral RNA synthesis machinery due to its fundamental role in viral propagation. The central and essential enzyme of the RNA synthesis process, the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), functions in conjunction with a coterie of viral-encoded enzymes that mediate crucial nucleic acid transactions. Some of these enzymes share common features with other RNA viruses, while others play roles unique to nidoviruses or CoVs. The RdRps are proven targets for viral pathogens, and many of the other nucleic acid processing enzymes are promising targets. The purpose of this review is to summarize recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of RNA synthesis in CoVs. By reflecting on these studies, we hope to emphasize the remaining gaps in our knowledge. The recent onslaught of structural information related to SARS-CoV-2 RNA synthesis, in combination with previous structural, genetic and biochemical studies, have vastly improved our understanding of how CoVs replicate and process their genomic RNA. Structural biology not only provides a blueprint for understanding the function of the enzymes and cofactors in molecular detail, but also provides a basis for drug design and optimization. The concerted efforts of researchers around the world, in combination with the renewed urgency toward understanding this deadly family of viruses, may eventually yield new and improved antivirals that provide relief to the current global devastation.


Subject(s)
RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics
5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(19)2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254144

ABSTRACT

Backtracking, the reverse motion of the transcriptase enzyme on the nucleic acid template, is a universal regulatory feature of transcription in cellular organisms but its role in viruses is not established. Here we present evidence that backtracking extends into the viral realm, where backtracking by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) may aid viral transcription and replication. Structures of SARS-CoV-2 RdRp bound to the essential nsp13 helicase and RNA suggested the helicase facilitates backtracking. We use cryo-electron microscopy, RNA-protein cross-linking, and unbiased molecular dynamics simulations to characterize SARS-CoV-2 RdRp backtracking. The results establish that the single-stranded 3' segment of the product RNA generated by backtracking extrudes through the RdRp nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) entry tunnel, that a mismatched nucleotide at the product RNA 3' end frays and enters the NTP entry tunnel to initiate backtracking, and that nsp13 stimulates RdRp backtracking. Backtracking may aid proofreading, a crucial process for SARS-CoV-2 resistance against antivirals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/genetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Cryoelectron Microscopy/methods , DNA Helicases/metabolism , Genome, Viral , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , RNA Helicases/metabolism , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(19)2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196910

ABSTRACT

Backtracking, the reverse motion of the transcriptase enzyme on the nucleic acid template, is a universal regulatory feature of transcription in cellular organisms but its role in viruses is not established. Here we present evidence that backtracking extends into the viral realm, where backtracking by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) may aid viral transcription and replication. Structures of SARS-CoV-2 RdRp bound to the essential nsp13 helicase and RNA suggested the helicase facilitates backtracking. We use cryo-electron microscopy, RNA-protein cross-linking, and unbiased molecular dynamics simulations to characterize SARS-CoV-2 RdRp backtracking. The results establish that the single-stranded 3' segment of the product RNA generated by backtracking extrudes through the RdRp nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) entry tunnel, that a mismatched nucleotide at the product RNA 3' end frays and enters the NTP entry tunnel to initiate backtracking, and that nsp13 stimulates RdRp backtracking. Backtracking may aid proofreading, a crucial process for SARS-CoV-2 resistance against antivirals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/genetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Cryoelectron Microscopy/methods , DNA Helicases/metabolism , Genome, Viral , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , RNA Helicases/metabolism , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
7.
Structure ; 29(2): 186-195.e6, 2021 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939287

ABSTRACT

Recent advances in single-particle cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have enabled the structural determination of numerous protein assemblies at high resolution, yielding unprecedented insights into their function. However, despite its extraordinary capabilities, cryo-EM remains time-consuming and resource-intensive. It is therefore beneficial to have a means for rapidly assessing and optimizing the quality of samples prior to lengthy cryo-EM analyses. To do this, we have developed a native mass spectrometry (nMS) platform that provides rapid feedback on sample quality and highly streamlined biochemical screening. Because nMS enables accurate mass analysis of protein complexes, it is well suited to routine evaluation of the composition, integrity, and homogeneity of samples prior to their plunge-freezing on EM grids. We demonstrate the utility of our nMS-based platform for facilitating cryo-EM studies using structural characterizations of exemplar bacterial transcription complexes as well as the replication-transcription assembly from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Cryoelectron Microscopy/methods , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Single Molecule Imaging/methods , Escherichia coli , Escherichia coli Proteins/chemistry , Escherichia coli Proteins/metabolism , Methyltransferases/chemistry , Methyltransferases/metabolism , RNA Helicases/chemistry , RNA Helicases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Transcription Factors/chemistry , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
8.
Cell ; 182(6): 1560-1573.e13, 2020 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-710427

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the 2019-2020 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 genome is replicated and transcribed by the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase holoenzyme (subunits nsp7/nsp82/nsp12) along with a cast of accessory factors. One of these factors is the nsp13 helicase. Both the holo-RdRp and nsp13 are essential for viral replication and are targets for treating the disease COVID-19. Here we present cryoelectron microscopic structures of the SARS-CoV-2 holo-RdRp with an RNA template product in complex with two molecules of the nsp13 helicase. The Nidovirales order-specific N-terminal domains of each nsp13 interact with the N-terminal extension of each copy of nsp8. One nsp13 also contacts the nsp12 thumb. The structure places the nucleic acid-binding ATPase domains of the helicase directly in front of the replicating-transcribing holo-RdRp, constraining models for nsp13 function. We also observe ADP-Mg2+ bound in the nsp12 N-terminal nidovirus RdRp-associated nucleotidyltransferase domain, detailing a new pocket for anti-viral therapy development.


Subject(s)
Methyltransferases/chemistry , RNA Helicases/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication , Adenosine Diphosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Diphosphate/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/ultrastructure , Binding Sites , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Holoenzymes/chemistry , Holoenzymes/metabolism , Magnesium/metabolism , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Protein Binding , RNA Helicases/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
9.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-663149

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the 2019-2020 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 genome is replicated-transcribed by the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase holoenzyme (subunits nsp7/nsp82/nsp12) along with a cast of accessory factors. One of these factors is the nsp13 helicase. Both the holo-RdRp and nsp13 are essential for viral replication and are targets for treating the disease COVID-19. Here we present cryo-electron microscopic structures of the SARS-CoV-2 holo-RdRp with an RNA template-product in complex with two molecules of the nsp13 helicase. The Nidovirus-order-specific N-terminal domains of each nsp13 interact with the N-terminal extension of each copy of nsp8. One nsp13 also contacts the nsp12-thumb. The structure places the nucleic acid-binding ATPase domains of the helicase directly in front of the replicating-transcribing holo-RdRp, constraining models for nsp13 function. We also observe ADP-Mg2+ bound in the nsp12 N-terminal nidovirus RdRp-associated nucleotidyltransferase domain, detailing a new pocket for anti-viral therapeutic development.

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