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PLoS Comput Biol ; 18(2): e1009833, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731576


As sequence and structure comparison algorithms gain sensitivity, the intrinsic interconnectedness of the protein universe has become increasingly apparent. Despite this general trend, ß-trefoils have emerged as an uncommon counterexample: They are an isolated protein lineage for which few, if any, sequence or structure associations to other lineages have been identified. If ß-trefoils are, in fact, remote islands in sequence-structure space, it implies that the oligomerizing peptide that founded the ß-trefoil lineage itself arose de novo. To better understand ß-trefoil evolution, and to probe the limits of fragment sharing across the protein universe, we identified both 'ß-trefoil bridging themes' (evolutionarily-related sequence segments) and 'ß-trefoil-like motifs' (structure motifs with a hallmark feature of the ß-trefoil architecture) in multiple, ostensibly unrelated, protein lineages. The success of the present approach stems, in part, from considering ß-trefoil sequence segments or structure motifs rather than the ß-trefoil architecture as a whole, as has been done previously. The newly uncovered inter-lineage connections presented here suggest a novel hypothesis about the origins of the ß-trefoil fold itself-namely, that it is a derived fold formed by 'budding' from an Immunoglobulin-like ß-sandwich protein. These results demonstrate how the evolution of a folded domain from a peptide need not be a signature of antiquity and underpin an emerging truth: few protein lineages escape nature's sewing table.

Lotus , Immunoglobulin G , Models, Molecular , Peptides/chemistry , Protein Folding
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e2444-e2449, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455256


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and dengue fever are difficult to distinguish given shared clinical and laboratory features. Failing to consider COVID-19 due to false-positive dengue serology can have serious implications. We aimed to assess this possible cross-reactivity. METHODS: We analyzed clinical data and serum samples from 55 individuals with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. To assess dengue serology status, we used dengue-specific antibodies by means of lateral-flow rapid test, as well as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Additionally, we tested SARS-CoV-2 serology status in patients with dengue and performed in-silico protein structural analysis to identify epitope similarities. RESULTS: Using the dengue lateral-flow rapid test we detected 12 positive cases out of the 55 (21.8%) COVID-19 patients versus zero positive cases in a control group of 70 healthy individuals (P = 2.5E-5). This includes 9 cases of positive immunoglobulin M (IgM), 2 cases of positive immunoglobulin G (IgG), and 1 case of positive IgM as well as IgG antibodies. ELISA testing for dengue was positive in 2 additional subjects using envelope protein directed antibodies. Out of 95 samples obtained from patients diagnosed with dengue before September 2019, SARS-CoV-2 serology targeting the S protein was positive/equivocal in 21 (22%) (16 IgA, 5 IgG) versus 4 positives/equivocal in 102 controls (4%) (P = 1.6E-4). Subsequent in-silico analysis revealed possible similarities between SARS-CoV-2 epitopes in the HR2 domain of the spike protein and the dengue envelope protein. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support possible cross-reactivity between dengue virus and SARS-CoV-2, which can lead to false-positive dengue serology among COVID-19 patients and vice versa. This can have serious consequences for both patient care and public health.

COVID-19 , Dengue Virus , Antibodies, Viral , Cross Reactions , Humans , SARS-CoV-2