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1.
Cell Rep ; 39(13): 111009, 2022 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1944463

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron BA.2 sub-lineage has gained in proportion relative to BA.1. Because spike (S) protein variations may underlie differences in their pathobiology, here we determine cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of the BA.2 S ectodomain and compare these with previously determined BA.1 S structures. BA.2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) mutations induce remodeling of the RBD structure, resulting in tighter packing and improved thermostability. Interprotomer RBD interactions are enhanced in the closed (or 3-RBD-down) BA.2 S, while the fusion peptide is less accessible to antibodies than in BA.1. Binding and pseudovirus neutralization assays reveal extensive immune evasion while defining epitopes of two outer RBD face-binding antibodies, DH1044 and DH1193, that neutralize both BA.1 and BA.2. Taken together, our results indicate that stabilization of the closed state through interprotomer RBD-RBD packing is a hallmark of the Omicron variant and show differences in key functional regions in the BA.1 and BA.2 S proteins.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
2.
Mol Cell ; 82(11): 2050-2068.e6, 2022 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937002

ABSTRACT

Aided by extensive spike protein mutation, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant overtook the previously dominant Delta variant. Spike conformation plays an essential role in SARS-CoV-2 evolution via changes in receptor-binding domain (RBD) and neutralizing antibody epitope presentation, affecting virus transmissibility and immune evasion. Here, we determine cryo-EM structures of the Omicron and Delta spikes to understand the conformational impacts of mutations in each. The Omicron spike structure revealed an unusually tightly packed RBD organization with long range impacts that were not observed in the Delta spike. Binding and crystallography revealed increased flexibility at the functionally critical fusion peptide site in the Omicron spike. These results reveal a highly evolved Omicron spike architecture with possible impacts on its high levels of immune evasion and transmissibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
3.
Comput Struct Biotechnol J ; 20: 3533-3544, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906929

ABSTRACT

Both novel and conventional vaccination strategies have been implemented worldwide since the onset of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Despite various medical advances in the treatment and prevention of the spread of this contagious disease, it remains a major public health threat with a high mortality rate. As several lethal SARS-CoV-2 variants continue to emerge, the development of several vaccines and medicines, each with certain advantages and disadvantages, is underway. Additionally, many modalities are at various stages of research and development or clinical trials. Here, we summarize emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, including delta, omicron, and "stealth omicron," as well as available oral drugs for COVID-19. We also discuss possible antigen candidates other than the receptor-binding domain protein for the development of a universal COVID-19 vaccine. The present review will serve as a helpful resource for future vaccine and drug development to combat COVID-19.

4.
Cell Rep ; 39(11): 110952, 2022 Jun 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1866957

ABSTRACT

Sequence homology between SARS-CoV-2 and common-cold human coronaviruses (HCoVs) raises the possibility that memory responses to prior HCoV infection can affect T cell response in COVID-19. We studied T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 and HCoVs in convalescent COVID-19 donors and identified a highly conserved SARS-CoV-2 sequence, S811-831, with overlapping epitopes presented by common MHC class II proteins HLA-DQ5 and HLA-DP4. These epitopes are recognized by low-abundance CD4 T cells from convalescent COVID-19 donors, mRNA vaccine recipients, and uninfected donors. TCR sequencing revealed a diverse repertoire with public TCRs. T cell cross-reactivity is driven by the high conservation across human and animal coronaviruses of T cell contact residues in both HLA-DQ5 and HLA-DP4 binding frames, with distinct patterns of HCoV cross-reactivity explained by MHC class II binding preferences and substitutions at secondary TCR contact sites. These data highlight S811-831 as a highly conserved CD4 T cell epitope broadly recognized across human populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Alleles , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 Vaccines , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , HLA Antigens , Humans , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell , mRNA Vaccines
5.
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 04 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792411

ABSTRACT

Combined in silico, in vitro, and in vivo comparative studies between isogenic-recombinant Mouse-Hepatitis-Virus-RSA59 and its proline deletion mutant, revealed a remarkable contribution of centrally located two consecutive prolines (PP) from Spike protein fusion peptide (FP) in enhancing virus fusogenic and hepato-neuropathogenic potential. To deepen our understanding of the underlying factors, we extend our studies to a non-fusogenic parental virus strain RSMHV2 (P) with a single proline in the FP and its proline inserted mutant, RSMHV2 (PP). Comparative in vitro and in vivo studies between virus strains RSA59(PP), RSMHV2 (P), and RSMHV2 (PP) in the FP demonstrate that the insertion of one proline significantly resulted in enhancing the virus fusogenicity, spread, and consecutive neuropathogenesis. Computational studies suggest that the central PP in Spike FP induces a locally ordered, compact, and rigid structure of the Spike protein in RSMHV2 (PP) compared to RSMHV2 (P), but globally the Spike S2-domain is akin to the parental strain RSA59(PP), the latter being the most flexible showing two potential wells in the energy landscape as observed from the molecular dynamics studies. The critical location of two central prolines of the FP is essential for fusogenicity and pathogenesis making it a potential site for designing antiviral.


Subject(s)
Demyelinating Diseases , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Mice , Peptides/metabolism , Proline , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism
6.
Gene Rep ; 26: 101537, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664941

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causal agent of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, has infected millions of people globally. Genetic variation and selective pressures lead to the accumulation of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within the viral genome that may affect virulence, transmission rate, viral recognition and the efficacy of prophylactic and interventional measures. To address these concerns at the genomic level, we assessed the phylogeny and SNPs of the SARS-CoV-2 mutant population collected to date in Iran in relation to globally reported variants. Phylogenetic analysis of mutant strains revealed the occurrence of the variants known as B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.525 (Eta), and B.1.617 (Delta) that appear to have delineated independently in Iran. SNP analysis of the Iranian sequences revealed that the mutations were predominantly positioned within the S protein-coding region, with most SNPs localizing to the S1 subunit. Seventeen S1-localizing SNPs occurred in the RNA binding domain that interacts with ACE2 of the host cell. Importantly, many of these SNPs are predicted to influence the binding of antibodies and anti-viral therapeutics, indicating that the adaptive host response appears to be imposing a selective pressure that is driving the evolution of the virus in this closed population through enhancing virulence. The SNPs detected within these mutant cohorts are addressed with respect to current prophylactic measures and therapeutic interventions.

7.
J Virol ; 94(13)2020 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583223

ABSTRACT

Fusion with, and subsequent entry into, the host cell is one of the critical steps in the life cycle of enveloped viruses. For Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the spike (S) protein is the main determinant of viral entry. Proteolytic cleavage of the S protein exposes its fusion peptide (FP), which initiates the process of membrane fusion. Previous studies on the related severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) FP have shown that calcium ions (Ca2+) play an important role in fusogenic activity via a Ca2+ binding pocket with conserved glutamic acid (E) and aspartic acid (D) residues. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV FPs share a high sequence homology, and here, we investigated whether Ca2+ is required for MERS-CoV fusion by screening a mutant array in which E and D residues in the MERS-CoV FP were substituted with neutrally charged alanines (A). Upon verifying mutant cell surface expression and proteolytic cleavage, we tested their ability to mediate pseudoparticle (PP) infection of host cells in modulating Ca2+ environments. Our results demonstrate that intracellular Ca2+ enhances MERS-CoV wild-type (WT) PP infection by approximately 2-fold and that E891 is a crucial residue for Ca2+ interaction. Subsequent electron spin resonance (ESR) experiments revealed that this enhancement could be attributed to Ca2+ increasing MERS-CoV FP fusion-relevant membrane ordering. Intriguingly, isothermal calorimetry showed an approximate 1:1 MERS-CoV FP to Ca2+ ratio, as opposed to an 1:2 SARS-CoV FP to Ca2+ ratio, suggesting significant differences in FP Ca2+ interactions of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV FP despite their high sequence similarity.IMPORTANCE Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a major emerging infectious disease with zoonotic potential and has reservoirs in dromedary camels and bats. Since its first outbreak in 2012, the virus has repeatedly transmitted from camels to humans, with 2,468 confirmed cases causing 851 deaths. To date, there are no efficacious drugs and vaccines against MERS-CoV, increasing its potential to cause a public health emergency. In order to develop novel drugs and vaccines, it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms that enable the virus to infect host cells. Our data have found that calcium is an important regulator of viral fusion by interacting with negatively charged residues in the MERS-CoV FP region. This information can guide therapeutic solutions to block this calcium interaction and also repurpose already approved drugs for this use for a fast response to MERS-CoV outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Calcium/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Ions/metabolism , Membrane Fusion , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Virus Internalization , Amino Acid Sequence , Amino Acid Substitution , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Proteolysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells , Virulence , Virus Assembly
8.
Gene Rep ; 26: 101420, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499885

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 caused by the SARS-COV2 virus has triggered millions of deaths around the globe. Emerging several variants of the virus with increased transmissibility, the severity of disease, and the ability of the virus to escape from the immune system has a cause for concerns. Here, we compared the spike protein sequence of 91 human SARS CoV2 strains of Iraq to the first reported sequence of SARS-CoV2 isolate from Wuhan Hu-1/China. The strains were isolated between June 2020 and March 2021. Twenty-two distinct mutations were identified within the spike protein regions which were: L5F, L18F, T19R, S151T, G181A, A222V, A348S, L452 (Q or M), T478K, N501Y, A520S, A522V, A570D, S605A, D614G, Q675H, N679K, P681H, T716I, S982A, A1020S, D1118H. The most frequently mutations occurred at the D614G (87/91), followed by S982A (50/91), and A570D (48/91), respectively. In addition, a distinct shift was observed in the type of SARS-COV2 variants present in 2020 compared to 2021 isolates. In 2020, B.1.428.1 lineage was appeared to be a dominant variant (85%). However, the diversity of the variants increased in 2021, and the majority (73%) of the isolated were appeared to belong to B.1.1.7 lineage (VOC/alpha variants). To our knowledge, this is the first major genome analysis of SARS-CoV2 in Iraq. The data from this research could provide insights into SARS-CoV2 evolution, and can be potentially used to recognize the effective vaccine against the disease.

9.
Ann Neurosci ; 28(3-4): 201-218, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477158

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronaviruses (CoVs) are single-stranded, polyadenylated, enveloped RNA of positive polarity with a unique potential to alter host tropism. This has been exceptionally demonstrated by the emergence of deadly virus outbreaks of the past: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) in 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) in 2012. Summary: The 2019 outbreak by the new cross-species transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has put the world on alert. CoV infection is triggered by receptor recognition, membrane fusion, and successive viral entry mediated by the surface Spike (S) glycoprotein. S protein is one of the major antigenic determinants and the target for neutralizing antibodies. It is a valuable target in antiviral therapies because of its central role in cell-cell fusion, viral antigen spread, and host immune responses leading to immunopathogenesis. The receptor-binding domain of S protein has received greater attention as it initiates host attachment and contains major antigenic determinants. However, investigating the therapeutic potential of fusion peptide as a part of the fusion core complex assembled by the heptad repeats 1 and 2 (HR1 and HR2) is also warranted. Along with receptor attachment and entry, fusion mechanisms should also be explored for designing inhibitors as a therapeutic intervention. Key message: In this article, we review the S protein function and its role in mediating membrane fusion, spread, tropism, and its associated pathogenesis with notable therapeutic strategies focusing on results obtained from studies on a murine ß-Coronavirus (m-CoV) and its associated disease process.

10.
Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr ; 1863(11): 183697, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316392

ABSTRACT

Fusion peptides (FP) are prominent hydrophobic segments of viral fusion proteins that play critical roles in viral entry. FPs interact with and insert into the host lipid membranes, triggering conformational changes in the viral protein that leads to the viral-cell fusion. Multiple membrane-active domains from the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (CoV) spike protein have been reported to act as the functional fusion peptide such as the peptide sequence located between the S1/S2 and S2' cleavage sites (FP1), the S2'-adjacent fusion peptide domain (FP2), and the internal FP sequence (cIFP). Using a combined biophysical approach, we demonstrated that the α-helical coiled-coil-forming internal cIFP displayed the highest membrane fusion and permeabilizing activities along with membrane ordering effect in phosphatidylcholine (PC)/phosphatidylglycerol (PG) unilamellar vesicles compared to the other two N-proximal fusion peptide counterparts. While the FP1 sequence displayed intermediate membranotropic activities, the well-conserved FP2 peptide was substantially less effective in promoting fusion, leakage, and membrane ordering in PC/PG model membranes. Furthermore, Ca2+ did not enhance the FP2-induced lipid mixing activity in PC/phosphatidylserine/cholesterol lipid membranes, despite its strong erythrocyte membrane perturbation. Nonetheless, we found that the three putative SARS-CoV membrane-active fusion peptide sequences here studied altered the physical properties of model and erythrocyte membranes to different extents. The importance of the distinct membranotropic and biological activities of all SARS-CoV fusion peptide domains and the pronounced effect of the internal fusion peptide sequence to the whole spike-mediated membrane fusion process are discussed.


Subject(s)
Erythrocyte Membrane/metabolism , Phospholipids/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Calcium/chemistry , Calcium/metabolism , Erythrocyte Membrane/chemistry , Humans , Phospholipids/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Domains , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Unilamellar Liposomes/chemistry , Unilamellar Liposomes/metabolism
11.
Int J Infect Dis ; 109: 261-268, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309243

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effects of high-intensity immunity on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remain unclear. Antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) are preferentially induced in inpatients with COVID-19 compared with outpatients with milder disease, and immunosuppression is the standard therapy for severe cases. This study investigated the relationship between cross-reactive antibody production against seasonal human coronavirus and the clinical course of COVID-19. METHODS: Among the immunogenic epitopes of SARS-CoV-2, conserved peptides in human coronavirus OC43 were searched and synthesized. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was designed to detect antibodies against synthesized peptides. Antibody titres against S2' cleavage site epitopes near fusion peptides of SARS-CoV-2 and OC43 were determined in the sera of 126 inpatients with COVID-19. The correlation between antibody titres and clinical data was analysed. RESULTS: Inpatients with COVID-19 who produced antibodies against OC43 did not develop severe or fatal pneumonia. Antibody titres against the corresponding epitope of SARS-CoV-2 did not differ between inpatients with severe and mild COVID-19. Antibody titres against the OC43 epitope increased more than those against SARS-CoV-2 during the first 2 weeks of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Immunity to seasonal human coronavirus OC43 effectively enhanced recovery from COVID-19. Detecting cross-reactive antibodies to OC43 may help to predict prognosis for patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus OC43, Human , Antibodies, Viral , Cross Reactions , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
12.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(18)2021 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1189344

ABSTRACT

As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic rages on, it is important to explore new evolution-resistant vaccine antigens and new vaccine platforms that can produce readily scalable, inexpensive vaccines with easier storage and transport. We report here a synthetic biology-based vaccine platform that employs an expression vector with an inducible gram-negative autotransporter to express vaccine antigens on the surface of genome-reduced bacteria to enhance interaction of vaccine antigen with the immune system. As a proof-of-principle, we utilized genome-reduced Escherichia coli to express SARS-CoV-2 and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) fusion peptide (FP) on the cell surface, and evaluated their use as killed whole-cell vaccines. The FP sequence is highly conserved across coronaviruses; the six FP core amino acid residues, along with the four adjacent residues upstream and the three residues downstream from the core, are identical between SARS-CoV-2 and PEDV. We tested the efficacy of PEDV FP and SARS-CoV-2 FP vaccines in a PEDV challenge pig model. We demonstrated that both vaccines induced potent anamnestic responses upon virus challenge, potentiated interferon-γ responses, reduced viral RNA loads in jejunum tissue, and provided significant protection against clinical disease. However, neither vaccines elicited sterilizing immunity. Since SARS-CoV-2 FP and PEDV FP vaccines provided similar clinical protection, the coronavirus FP could be a target for a broadly protective vaccine using any platform. Importantly, the genome-reduced bacterial surface-expressed vaccine platform, when using a vaccine-appropriate bacterial vector, has potential utility as an inexpensive, readily manufactured, and rapid vaccine platform for other pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Fusion Proteins/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Disease Models, Animal , Escherichia coli/genetics , Genome, Bacterial , Interferon-gamma/blood , RNA, Viral/analysis , Swine , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
13.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2488-2496, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-900319

ABSTRACT

Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 was rapidly implemented in Portugal by the National Institute of Health in collaboration with a nationwide consortium of >50 hospitals/laboratories. Here, we track the geotemporal spread of a SARS-CoV-2 variant with a mutation (D839Y) in a potential host-interacting region involving the Spike fusion peptide, which is a target motif of anti-viral drugs that plays a key role in SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. The Spike Y839 variant was most likely imported from Italy in mid-late February and massively disseminated in Portugal during the early epidemic, becoming prevalent in the Northern and Central regions of Portugal where it represented 22% and 59% of the sampled genomes, respectively, by 30 April. Based on our high sequencing sampling during the early epidemics [15.5% (1275/8251) and 6.0% (1500/24987) of all confirmed cases until the end of March and April, respectively], we estimate that, between 14 March and 9 April (covering the epidemic exponential phase) the relative frequency of the Spike Y839 variant increased at a rate of 12.1% (6.1%-18.2%, CI 95%) every three days, being potentially associated with 24.8% (20.8-29.7%, CI 95%; 3177-4542 cases, CI 95%) of all COVID-19 cases in Portugal during this period. Our data supports population/epidemiological (founder) effects contributing to the Y839 variant superspread. The potential existence of selective advantage is also discussed, although experimental validation is required. Despite huge differences in genome sampling worldwide, SARS-CoV-2 Spike D839Y has been detected in 13 countries in four continents, supporting the need for close surveillance and functional assays of Spike variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Genome, Viral , Mutation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Genomics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Phylogeny , Portugal/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
14.
mSystems ; 5(5)2020 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-788017

ABSTRACT

The membrane-anchored spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has a pivotal role in directing the fusion of the virus particle mediated by the host cell receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2). The fusion peptide region of the S protein S2 domain provides SARS-CoV-2 with the biological machinery needed for direct fusion to the host lipid membrane. In our present study, computer-aided drug design strategies were used for the identification of FDA-approved small molecules using the optimal structure of the S2 domain, which exhibits optimal interaction ratios, structural features, and energy variables, which were evaluated based on their performances in molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations, molecular mechanics/generalized Born model and solvent accessibility binding free energy calculations of molecular dynamics trajectories, and statistical inferences. Among the 2,625 FDA-approved small molecules, chloramphenicol succinate, imipenem, and imidurea turned out to be the molecules that bound the best at the fusion peptide hydrophobic pocket. The principal interactions of the selected molecules suggest that the potential binding site at the fusion peptide region is centralized amid the Lys790, Thr791, Lys795, Asp808, and Gln872 residues.IMPORTANCE The present study provides the structural identification of the viable binding residues of the SARS-CoV-2 S2 fusion peptide region, which holds prime importance in the virus's host cell fusion and entry mechanism. The classical molecular mechanics simulations were set on values that mimic physiological standards for a good approximation of the dynamic behavior of selected drugs in biological systems. The drug molecules screened and analyzed here have relevant antiviral properties, which are reported here and which might hint toward their utilization in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic owing to their attributes of binding to the fusion protein binding region shown in this study.

15.
Comput Struct Biotechnol J ; 18: 2117-2131, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-723392

ABSTRACT

There are no approved target therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 or other beta-CoVs. The beta-CoV Spike protein is a promising target considering the critical role in viral infection and pathogenesis and its surface exposed features. We performed a structure-based strategy targeting highly conserved druggable regions resulting from a comprehensive large-scale sequence analysis and structural characterization of Spike domains across SARSr- and MERSr-CoVs. We have disclosed 28 main consensus druggable pockets within the Spike. The RBD and SD1 (S1 subunit); and the CR, HR1 and CH (S2 subunit) represent the most promising conserved druggable regions. Additionally, we have identified 181 new potential hot spot residues for the hSARSr-CoVs and 72 new hot spot residues for the SARSr- and MERSr-CoVs, which have not been described before in the literature. These sites/residues exhibit advantageous structural features for targeted molecular and pharmacological modulation. This study establishes the Spike as a promising anti-CoV target using an approach with a potential higher resilience to resistance development and directed to a broad spectrum of Beta-CoVs, including the new SARS-CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19. This research also provides a structure-based rationale for the design and discovery of chemical inhibitors, antibodies or other therapeutic modalities successfully targeting the Beta-CoV Spike protein.

16.
Biophys Chem ; 265: 106438, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-663111

ABSTRACT

The emerging and re-emerging viral diseases are continuous threats to the wellbeing of human life. Previous outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS had evidenced potential threats of coronaviruses in human health. The recent pandemic due to SARS-CoV-2 is overwhelming and has been going beyond control. Vaccines and antiviral drugs are ungently required to mitigate the pandemic. Therefore, it is important to comprehend the mechanistic details of viral infection process. The fusion between host cell and virus being the first step of infection, understanding the fusion mechanism could provide crucial information to intervene the infection process. Interestingly, all enveloped viruses contain fusion protein on their envelope that acts as fusion machine. For coronaviruses, the spike or S glycoprotein mediates successful infection through receptor binding and cell fusion. The cell fusion process requires merging of virus and host cell membranes, and that is essentially performed by the S2 domain of the S glycoprotein. In this review, we have discussed cell fusion mechanism of SARS-CoV-1 from available atomic resolution structures and membrane binding of fusion peptides. We have further discussed about the cell fusion of SARS-CoV-2 in the context of present pandemic situation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , SARS Virus/physiology , Virus Internalization , Humans , Membrane Fusion , Protein Domains , Protein Structure, Secondary , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Fusion Proteins/chemistry , Viral Fusion Proteins/metabolism
17.
Antiviral Res ; 178: 104792, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-34819

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has focused attention on the need to develop effective therapies against the causative agent, SARS-CoV-2, and also against other pathogenic coronaviruses (CoV) that have emerged in the past or might appear in future. Researchers are therefore focusing on steps in the CoV replication cycle that may be vulnerable to inhibition by broad-spectrum or specific antiviral agents. The conserved nature of the fusion domain and mechanism across the CoV family make it a valuable target to elucidate and develop pan-CoV therapeutics. In this article, we review the role of the CoV spike protein in mediating fusion of the viral and host cell membranes, summarizing the results of research on SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and recent peer-reviewed studies of SARS-CoV-2, and suggest that the fusion mechanism be investigated as a potential antiviral target. We also provide a supplemental file containing background information on the biology, epidemiology, and clinical features of all human-infecting coronaviruses, along with a phylogenetic tree of these coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Membrane Fusion/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
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