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1.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 61(46): e202205858, 2022 Nov 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2034712

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (SCoV2) and its variants of concern pose serious challenges to the public health. The variants increased challenges to vaccines, thus necessitating for development of new intervention strategies including anti-virals. Within the international Covid19-NMR consortium, we have identified binders targeting the RNA genome of SCoV2. We established protocols for the production and NMR characterization of more than 80 % of all SCoV2 proteins. Here, we performed an NMR screening using a fragment library for binding to 25 SCoV2 proteins and identified hits also against previously unexplored SCoV2 proteins. Computational mapping was used to predict binding sites and identify functional moieties (chemotypes) of the ligands occupying these pockets. Striking consensus was observed between NMR-detected binding sites of the main protease and the computational procedure. Our investigation provides novel structural and chemical space for structure-based drug design against the SCoV2 proteome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Proteome , COVID-19/drug therapy , Ligands , Drug Design
2.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 203: 466-480, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630871

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (N) is a multifunctional promiscuous nucleic acid-binding protein, which plays a major role in nucleocapsid assembly and discontinuous RNA transcription, facilitating the template switch of transcriptional regulatory sequences (TRS). Here, we dissect the structural features of the N protein N-terminal domain (N-NTD) and N-NTD plus the SR-rich motif (N-NTD-SR) upon binding to single and double-stranded TRS DNA, as well as their activities for dsTRS melting and TRS-induced liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS). Our study gives insights on the specificity for N-NTD(-SR) interaction with TRS. We observed an approximation of the triple-thymidine (TTT) motif of the TRS to ß-sheet II, giving rise to an orientation difference of ~25° between dsTRS and non-specific sequence (dsNS). It led to a local unfavorable energetic contribution that might trigger the melting activity. The thermodynamic parameters of binding of ssTRSs and dsTRS suggested that the duplex dissociation of the dsTRS in the binding cleft is entropically favorable. We showed a preference for TRS in the formation of liquid condensates when compared to NS. Moreover, our results on DNA binding may serve as a starting point for the design of inhibitors, including aptamers, against N, a possible therapeutic target essential for the virus infectivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Nucleic Acids/metabolism , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Binding Sites , DNA/chemistry , DNA/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Protein Binding , RNA/chemistry , RNA/metabolism , Spectrum Analysis , Structure-Activity Relationship
3.
Front Mol Biosci ; 8: 653148, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247882

ABSTRACT

The highly infectious disease COVID-19 caused by the Betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 poses a severe threat to humanity and demands the redirection of scientific efforts and criteria to organized research projects. The international COVID19-NMR consortium seeks to provide such new approaches by gathering scientific expertise worldwide. In particular, making available viral proteins and RNAs will pave the way to understanding the SARS-CoV-2 molecular components in detail. The research in COVID19-NMR and the resources provided through the consortium are fully disclosed to accelerate access and exploitation. NMR investigations of the viral molecular components are designated to provide the essential basis for further work, including macromolecular interaction studies and high-throughput drug screening. Here, we present the extensive catalog of a holistic SARS-CoV-2 protein preparation approach based on the consortium's collective efforts. We provide protocols for the large-scale production of more than 80% of all SARS-CoV-2 proteins or essential parts of them. Several of the proteins were produced in more than one laboratory, demonstrating the high interoperability between NMR groups worldwide. For the majority of proteins, we can produce isotope-labeled samples of HSQC-grade. Together with several NMR chemical shift assignments made publicly available on covid19-nmr.com, we here provide highly valuable resources for the production of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in isotope-labeled form.

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