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Molecules ; 27(15)2022 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969390


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.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Amino Acids/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Humans , Mutation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
Biomedicines ; 9(8)2021 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360723


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.