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1.
Trends Biochem Sci ; 48(7): 590-596, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2293793

ABSTRACT

Investigating large datasets of biological information by automatic procedures may offer chances of progress in knowledge. Recently, tremendous improvements in structural biology have allowed the number of structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) archive to increase rapidly, in particular those for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-associated proteins. However, their automatic analysis can be hampered by the nonuniform descriptors used by authors in some records of the PDB and PDBx/mmCIF files. In this opinion article we highlight the difficulties encountered in automating the analysis of hundreds of structures, suggesting that further standardization of the description of these molecular entities and of their attributes, generalized to the macromolecular structures contained in the PDB, might generate files more suitable for automatized analyses of a large number of structures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Proteins/chemistry , Molecular Structure , Databases, Protein , Protein Conformation
2.
Molecules ; 28(6)2023 Mar 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2260693

ABSTRACT

Natural products and plant extracts exhibit many biological activities, including that related to the defense mechanisms against parasites. Many studies have investigated the biological functions of secondary metabolites and reported evidence of antiviral activities. The pandemic emergencies have further increased the interest in finding antiviral agents, and efforts are oriented to investigate possible activities of secondary plant metabolites against human viruses and their potential application in treating or preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this review, we performed a comprehensive analysis of studies through in silico and in vitro investigations, also including in vivo applications and clinical trials, to evaluate the state of knowledge on the antiviral activities of secondary metabolites against human viruses and their potential application in treating or preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection, with a particular focus on natural compounds present in food plants. Although some of the food plant secondary metabolites seem to be useful in the prevention and as a possible therapeutic management against SARS-CoV-2, up to now, no molecules can be used as a potential treatment for COVID-19; however, more research is needed.


Subject(s)
Biological Products , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Biological Products/pharmacology , Biological Products/therapeutic use , Plants, Edible
3.
Molecules ; 27(15)2022 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969390

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron is characterized, among others, by more than 30 amino acid changes occurring on the spike glycoprotein with respect to the original SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. We report a comprehensive analysis of the effects of the Omicron spike amino acid changes in the interaction with human antibodies, obtained by modeling them into selected publicly available resolved 3D structures of spike-antibody complexes and investigating the effects of these mutations at structural level. We predict that the interactions of Omicron spike with human antibodies can be either negatively or positively affected by amino acid changes, with a predicted total loss of interactions only in a few complexes. Moreover, our analysis applied also to the spike-ACE2 interaction predicts that these amino acid changes may increase Omicron transmissibility. Our approach can be used to better understand SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility, detectability, and epidemiology and represents a model to be adopted also in the case of other variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Amino Acids/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Humans , Mutation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
4.
Encyclopedia ; 2(1):96, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1818060

ABSTRACT

DefinitionA new betacoronavirus (CoV-2) is responsible for the pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that began in China at the end of 2019, today known as COronaVIrus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Subsequent studies confirmed the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) as the main cell receptor of spike trimeric glycoprotein, located on the viral envelope, mediating the CoV-2 invasion into the host cells through the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike. Computational analysis of the known experimental 3D structures of spike–ACE2 complexes evidenced distinguishing features in the molecular interactions at the RBD-cell receptor binding interface between CoV-2 and previous CoV-1. The spike represents a key target for drug design as well as an optimal antigen for RNA/viral vector vaccines and monoclonal antibodies in order to maximize prevention and therapy of COVID-19.

5.
Biomedicines ; 9(8)2021 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360723

ABSTRACT

An outbreak by a new severe acute respiratory syndrome betacoronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has spread CoronaVirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) all over the world. Immediately, following studies have confirmed the human Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a cellular receptor of viral Spike-Protein (Sp) that mediates the CoV-2 invasion into the pulmonary host cells. Here, we compared the molecular interactions of the viral Sp from previous SARS-CoV-1 of 2002 and SARS-CoV-2 with the host ACE2 protein by in silico analysis of the available experimental structures of Sp-ACE2 complexes. The K417 amino acid residue, located in the region of Sp Receptor-Binding Domain (RBD) of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, showed to have a key role for the binding to the ACE2 N-terminal region. The R426 residue of SARS-CoV-1 Sp-RBD also plays a key role, although by interacting with the central region of the ACE2 sequence. Therefore, our study evidenced peculiarities in the interactions of the two Sp-ACE2 complexes. Our outcomes were consistent with previously reported mutagenesis studies on SARS-CoV-1 and support the idea that a new and different RBD was acquired by SARS-CoV-2. These results have interesting implications and suggest further investigations.

6.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 726-741, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343633

ABSTRACT

Drug repurposing involves the identification of new applications for existing drugs at a lower cost and in a shorter time. There are different computational drug-repurposing strategies and some of these approaches have been applied to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Computational drug-repositioning approaches applied to COVID-19 can be broadly categorized into (i) network-based models, (ii) structure-based approaches and (iii) artificial intelligence (AI) approaches. Network-based approaches are divided into two categories: network-based clustering approaches and network-based propagation approaches. Both of them allowed to annotate some important patterns, to identify proteins that are functionally associated with COVID-19 and to discover novel drug-disease or drug-target relationships useful for new therapies. Structure-based approaches allowed to identify small chemical compounds able to bind macromolecular targets to evaluate how a chemical compound can interact with the biological counterpart, trying to find new applications for existing drugs. AI-based networks appear, at the moment, less relevant since they need more data for their application.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Drug Repositioning , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation
7.
FEBS Open Bio ; 10(11): 2363-2374, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-792010

ABSTRACT

Comorbidities in COVID-19 patients often worsen clinical conditions and may represent death predictors. Here, the expression of five genes, known to encode coronavirus receptors/interactors (ACE2, TMPRSS2, CLEC4M, DPP4 and TMPRSS11D), was investigated in normal and cancer tissues, and their molecular relationships with clinical comorbidities were investigated. Using expression data from GENT2 databases, we evaluated gene expression in all anatomical districts from 32 normal tissues in 3902 individuals. Functional relationships with body districts were analyzed by chilibot. We performed DisGeNet, genemania and DAVID analyses to identify human diseases associated with these genes. Transcriptomic expression levels were then analyzed in 31 cancer types and healthy controls from approximately 43 000 individuals, using GEPIA2 and GENT2 databases. By performing receiver operating characteristic analysis, the area under the curve (AUC) was used to discriminate healthy from cancer patients. Coronavirus receptors were found to be expressed in several body districts. Moreover, the five genes were found to associate with acute respiratory syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer (i.e. the most frequent COVID-19 comorbidities). Their expression levels were found to be significantly altered in cancer types, including colon, kidney, liver, testis, thyroid and skin cancers (P < 0.0001); AUC > 0.80 suggests that TMPRSS2, CLEC4M and DPP4 are relevant markers of kidney, liver, and thyroid cancer, respectively. The five coronavirus receptors are related to all main COVID-19 comorbidities and three show significantly different expression in cancer versus control tissues. Further investigation into their role may help in monitoring other comorbidities, as well as for follow-up of patients who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic , Neoplasms/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Adhesion Molecules/genetics , Comorbidity , Databases, Genetic , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/genetics , Epidemics , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Humans , Lectins, C-Type/genetics , Male , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Neoplasms/classification , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Receptors, Cell Surface/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Proteases/genetics
8.
Non-conventional in English | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-327222
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