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1.
Glycobiology ; 31(9): 1080-1092, 2021 09 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434394

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), started in 2019 in China and quickly spread into a global pandemic. Nucleocapsid protein (N protein) is highly conserved and is the most abundant protein in coronaviruses and is thus a potential target for both vaccine and point-of-care diagnostics. N Protein has been suggested in the literature as having posttranslational modifications (PTMs), and accurately defining these PTMs is critical for its potential use in medicine. Reports of phosphorylation of N protein have failed to provide detailed site-specific information. We have performed comprehensive glycomics, glycoproteomics and proteomics experiments on two different N protein preparations. Both were expressed in HEK293 cells; one was in-house expressed and purified without a signal peptide (SP) sequence, and the other was commercially produced with a SP channeling it through the secretory pathway. Our results show completely different PTMs on the two N protein preparations. The commercial product contained extensive N- and O-linked glycosylation as well as O-phosphorylation on site Thr393. Conversely, the native N Protein model had O-phosphorylation at Ser176 and no glycosylation, highlighting the importance of knowing the provenance of any commercial protein to be used for scientific or clinical studies. Recent studies have indicated that N protein can serve as an important diagnostic marker for COVID-19 and as a major immunogen by priming protective immune responses. Thus, detailed structural characterization of N protein may provide useful insights for understanding the roles of PTMs on viral pathogenesis, vaccine design and development of point-of-care diagnostics.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Protein Processing, Post-Translational/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Amino Acid Motifs , Amino Acid Sequence , Binding Sites , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Glycosylation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Phosphorylation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry
2.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 413(29): 7179-7193, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300454

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Similar to other coronaviruses, its particles are composed of four structural proteins: spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N) proteins. S, E, and M proteins are glycosylated, and the N protein is phosphorylated. The S protein is involved in the interaction with the host receptor human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2), which is also heavily glycosylated. Recent studies have revealed several other potential host receptors or factors that can increase or modulate the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Interestingly, most of these molecules bear carbohydrate residues. While glycans acquired by the viruses through the hijacking of the host machinery help the viruses in their infectivity, they also play roles in immune evasion or modulation. Glycans play complex roles in viral pathobiology, both on their own and in association with carrier biomolecules, such as proteins or glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Understanding these roles in detail can help in developing suitable strategies for prevention and therapy of COVID-19. In this review, we sought to emphasize the interplay of SARS-CoV-2 glycosylated proteins and their host receptors in viral attachment, entry, replication, and infection. Moreover, the implications for future therapeutic interventions targeting these glycosylated biomolecules are also discussed in detail.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Carbohydrate Conformation , Glycosylation , Humans , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
3.
Glycobiology ; 31(9): 1080-1092, 2021 09 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231033

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), started in 2019 in China and quickly spread into a global pandemic. Nucleocapsid protein (N protein) is highly conserved and is the most abundant protein in coronaviruses and is thus a potential target for both vaccine and point-of-care diagnostics. N Protein has been suggested in the literature as having posttranslational modifications (PTMs), and accurately defining these PTMs is critical for its potential use in medicine. Reports of phosphorylation of N protein have failed to provide detailed site-specific information. We have performed comprehensive glycomics, glycoproteomics and proteomics experiments on two different N protein preparations. Both were expressed in HEK293 cells; one was in-house expressed and purified without a signal peptide (SP) sequence, and the other was commercially produced with a SP channeling it through the secretory pathway. Our results show completely different PTMs on the two N protein preparations. The commercial product contained extensive N- and O-linked glycosylation as well as O-phosphorylation on site Thr393. Conversely, the native N Protein model had O-phosphorylation at Ser176 and no glycosylation, highlighting the importance of knowing the provenance of any commercial protein to be used for scientific or clinical studies. Recent studies have indicated that N protein can serve as an important diagnostic marker for COVID-19 and as a major immunogen by priming protective immune responses. Thus, detailed structural characterization of N protein may provide useful insights for understanding the roles of PTMs on viral pathogenesis, vaccine design and development of point-of-care diagnostics.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Protein Processing, Post-Translational/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Amino Acid Motifs , Amino Acid Sequence , Binding Sites , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Glycosylation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Phosphorylation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry
4.
Glycobiology ; 30(12): 981-988, 2020 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060393

ABSTRACT

The current emergence of the novel coronavirus pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) demands the development of new therapeutic strategies to prevent rapid progress of mortalities. The coronavirus spike (S) protein, which facilitates viral attachment, entry and membrane fusion is heavily glycosylated and plays a critical role in the elicitation of the host immune response. The spike protein is comprised of two protein subunits (S1 and S2), which together possess 22 potential N-glycosylation sites. Herein, we report the glycosylation mapping on spike protein subunits S1 and S2 expressed on human cells through high-resolution mass spectrometry. We have characterized the quantitative N-glycosylation profile on spike protein and interestingly, observed unexpected O-glycosylation modifications on the receptor-binding domain of spike protein subunit S1. Even though O-glycosylation has been predicted on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, this is the first report of experimental data for both the site of O-glycosylation and identity of the O-glycans attached on the subunit S1. Our data on the N- and O-glycosylation are strengthened by extensive manual interpretation of each glycopeptide spectra in addition to using bioinformatics tools to confirm the complexity of glycosylation in the spike protein. The elucidation of the glycan repertoire on the spike protein provides insights into the viral binding studies and more importantly, propels research toward the development of a suitable vaccine candidate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Polysaccharides/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Infections , Humans , Pandemics , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
Glycobiology ; 31(4): 410-424, 2021 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-900424

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has created the need for development of new therapeutic strategies. Understanding the mode of viral attachment, entry and replication has become a key aspect of such interventions. The coronavirus surface features a trimeric spike (S) protein that is essential for viral attachment, entry and membrane fusion. The S protein of SARS-CoV-2 binds to human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) for entry. Herein, we describe glycomic and glycoproteomic analysis of hACE2 expressed in HEK293 cells. We observed high glycan occupancy (73.2 to 100%) at all seven possible N-glycosylation sites and surprisingly detected one novel O-glycosylation site. To deduce the detailed structure of glycan epitopes on hACE2 that may be involved in viral binding, we have characterized the terminal sialic acid linkages, the presence of bisecting GlcNAc and the pattern of N-glycan fucosylation. We have conducted extensive manual interpretation of each glycopeptide and glycan spectrum, in addition to using bioinformatics tools to validate the hACE2 glycosylation. Our elucidation of the site-specific glycosylation and its terminal orientations on the hACE2 receptor, along with the modeling of hACE2 glycosylation sites can aid in understanding the intriguing virus-receptor interactions and assist in the development of novel therapeutics to prevent viral entry. The relevance of studying the role of ACE2 is further increased due to some recent reports about the varying ACE2 dependent complications with regard to age, sex, race and pre-existing conditions of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Polysaccharides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , COVID-19/virology , Glycomics , Glycosylation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation
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