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1.
Chemical science ; 12(4):1513-1527, 2020.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1766761

ABSTRACT

The main protease (Mpro) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an attractive target for antiviral therapeutics. Recently, many high-resolution apo and inhibitor-bound structures of Mpro, a cysteine protease, have been determined, facilitating structure-based drug design. Mpro plays a central role in the viral life cycle by catalyzing the cleavage of SARS-CoV-2 polyproteins. In addition to the catalytic dyad His41–Cys145, Mpro contains multiple histidines including His163, His164, and His172. The protonation states of these histidines and the catalytic nucleophile Cys145 have been debated in previous studies of SARS-CoV Mpro, but have yet to be investigated for SARS-CoV-2. In this work we have used molecular dynamics simulations to determine the structural stability of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro as a function of the protonation assignments for these residues. We simulated both the apo and inhibitor-bound enzyme and found that the conformational stability of the binding site, bound inhibitors, and the hydrogen bond networks of Mpro are highly sensitive to these assignments. Additionally, the two inhibitors studied, the peptidomimetic N3 and an α-ketoamide, display distinct His41/His164 protonation-state-dependent stabilities. While the apo and the N3-bound systems favored Nδ (HD) and Nϵ (HE) protonation of His41 and His164, respectively, the α-ketoamide was not stably bound in this state. Our results illustrate the importance of using appropriate histidine protonation states to accurately model the structure and dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro in both the apo and inhibitor-bound states, a necessary prerequisite for drug-design efforts. The main protease (Mpro) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an attractive target for antiviral therapeutics.

2.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source], Grey literature | ID: grc-750347

ABSTRACT

Protein-ligand docking is an in silico tool used to screen potential drug compounds for their ability to bind to a given protein receptor within a drug-discovery campaign. Experimental drug screening is expensive and time consuming, and it is desirable to carry out large scale docking calculations in a high-throughput manner to narrow the experimental search space. Few of the existing computational docking tools were designed with high performance computing in mind. Therefore, optimizations to maximize use of high-performance computational resources available at leadership-class computing facilities enables these facilities to be leveraged for drug discovery. Here we present the porting, optimization, and validation of the AutoDock-GPU program for the Summit supercomputer, and its application to initial compound screening efforts to target proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic.

3.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 12(17): 4195-4202, 2021 May 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387119

ABSTRACT

The catalytic reaction in SARS-CoV-2 main protease is activated by a proton transfer (PT) from Cys145 to His41. The same PT is likely also required for the covalent binding of some inhibitors. Here we use a multiscale computational approach to investigate the PT thermodynamics in the apo enzyme and in complex with two potent inhibitors, N3 and the α-ketoamide 13b. We show that with the inhibitors the free energy cost to reach the charge-separated state of the active-site dyad is lower, with N3 inducing the most significant reduction. We also show that a few key sites (including specific water molecules) significantly enhance or reduce the thermodynamic feasibility of the PT reaction, with selective desolvation of the active site playing a crucial role. The approach presented is a cost-effective procedure to identify the enzyme regions that control the activation of the catalytic reaction and is thus also useful to guide the design of inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Drug Design , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Matrix Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Biocatalysis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protons , Quantum Theory , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thermodynamics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism
4.
Chem Sci ; 12(4): 1513-1527, 2021 Jan 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083334

ABSTRACT

The main protease (Mpro) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an attractive target for antiviral therapeutics. Recently, many high-resolution apo and inhibitor-bound structures of Mpro, a cysteine protease, have been determined, facilitating structure-based drug design. Mpro plays a central role in the viral life cycle by catalyzing the cleavage of SARS-CoV-2 polyproteins. In addition to the catalytic dyad His41-Cys145, Mpro contains multiple histidines including His163, His164, and His172. The protonation states of these histidines and the catalytic nucleophile Cys145 have been debated in previous studies of SARS-CoV Mpro, but have yet to be investigated for SARS-CoV-2. In this work we have used molecular dynamics simulations to determine the structural stability of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro as a function of the protonation assignments for these residues. We simulated both the apo and inhibitor-bound enzyme and found that the conformational stability of the binding site, bound inhibitors, and the hydrogen bond networks of Mpro are highly sensitive to these assignments. Additionally, the two inhibitors studied, the peptidomimetic N3 and an α-ketoamide, display distinct His41/His164 protonation-state-dependent stabilities. While the apo and the N3-bound systems favored N δ (HD) and N ϵ (HE) protonation of His41 and His164, respectively, the α-ketoamide was not stably bound in this state. Our results illustrate the importance of using appropriate histidine protonation states to accurately model the structure and dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro in both the apo and inhibitor-bound states, a necessary prerequisite for drug-design efforts.

5.
Proteins ; 89(2): 163-173, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745464

ABSTRACT

Human interleukin-6 (hIL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine that regulates immune and inflammatory responses in addition to metabolic and regenerative processes and cancer. hIL-6 binding to the IL-6 receptor (IL-6Rα) induces homodimerization and recruitment of the glycoprotein (gp130) to form a hexameric signaling complex. Anti-IL-6 and IL-6R antibodies are clinically approved inhibitors of IL-6 signaling pathway for treating rheumatoid arthritis and Castleman's disease, respectively. There is a potential to develop novel small molecule IL-6 antagonists derived from understanding the structural basis for IL-6/IL-6Rα interactions. Here, we combine homology modeling with extensive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to examine the association of hIL-6 with IL-6Rα. A comparison with MD of apo hIL-6 reveals that the binding of hIL-6 to IL-6Rα induces structural and dynamic rearrangements in the AB loop region of hIL-6, disrupting intraprotein contacts and increasing the flexibility of residues 48 to 58 of the AB loop. In contrast, due to the involvement of residues 59 to 78 in forming contacts with the receptor, these residues of the AB loop are observed to rigidify in the presence of the receptor. The binary complex is primarily stabilized by two pairs of salt bridges, Arg181 (hIL-6)- Glu182 (IL-6Rα) and Arg184 (hIL-6)- Glu183 (IL-6Rα) as well as hydrophobic and aromatic stacking interactions mediated essentially by Phe residues in both proteins. An interplay of electrostatic, hydrophobic, hydrogen bonding, and aromatic stacking interactions facilitates the formation of the hIL-6/IL-6Rα complex.


Subject(s)
Apoproteins/chemistry , Interleukin-6/chemistry , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Receptors, Interleukin-6/chemistry , Apoproteins/metabolism , Binding Sites , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Receptors, Interleukin-6/metabolism , Static Electricity , Structural Homology, Protein , Thermodynamics
6.
chemRxiv; 2020.
Preprint | ChemRxiv | ID: ppcovidwho-242

ABSTRACT

The novel Wuhan coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been sequenced, and the virus shares substantial similarity with SARS-CoV. Here, using a computational model of the spike protein (S-protein) of SARS-CoV-2 interacting with the human ACE2 receptor, we make use of the world's most powerful supercomputer, SUMMIT, to enact an ensemble docking virtual high-throughput screening campaign and identify small-molecules which bind to either the isolated Viral S-protein at its host receptor region or to the S protein-human ACE2 interface. We hypothesize the identified small-molecules may be repurposed to limit viral recognition of host cells and/or disrupt host-virus interactions. A ranked list of compounds is given that can be tested experimentally. br

7.
Non-conventional in English | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-664398

ABSTRACT

Protein-ligand docking is an in silico tool used to screen potential drug compounds for their ability to bind to a given protein receptor within a drug-discovery campaign. Experimental drug screening is expensive and time consuming, and it is desirable to carry out large scale docking calculations in a high-throughput manner to narrow the experimental search space. Few of the existing computational docking tools were designed with high performance computing in mind. Therefore, optimizations to maximize use of high-performance computational resources available at leadership-class computing facilities enables these facilities to be leveraged for drug discovery. Here we present the porting, optimization, and validation of the AutoDock-GPU program for the Summit supercomputer, and its application to initial compound screening efforts to target proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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