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1.
J Med Chem ; 65(22): 15227-15237, 2022 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117218

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-1/2 (SARS-CoV-1/2) macrodomain 3 (Mac3) is critical for replication and transcription of the viral genome and is therefore a potential therapeutic target. Here, we solved the crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 Mac3, which reveals a small-molecule binding pocket. Two low-molecular-weight drugs, oxaprozin and meclomen, induced different patterns of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) chemical shift perturbations (CSPs). Meclomen binds to site I of SARS-CoV-2 Mac3 with binding pose determined by NMR CSP and transferred paramagnetic relaxation enhancement, while oxaprozin binds to site II as revealed by the crystal structure. Interestingly, oxaprozin and meclomen both perturb residues in site I of SARS-CoV Mac3. Fluorescence polarization experiments further demonstrated that oxaprozin and meclomen inhibited the binding of DNA-G4s to SARS-CoV-2 Mac3. Our work identified two adjacent ligand-binding sites of SARS-CoV-2 Mac3 that shall facilitate structure-guided fragment linking of these compounds for more potent inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Meclofenamic Acid , Oxaprozin , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Binding Sites
2.
Mol Divers ; 26(6): 3143-3155, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2104017

ABSTRACT

Oxidative stress, which occurs when an organism is exposed to an adverse stimulus that results in a misbalance of antioxidant and pro-oxidants species, is the common denominator of diseases considered as a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 lethality. Indeed, reactive oxygen species caused by oxidative stress have been related to many virus pathogenicity. In this work, simulations have been performed on the receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein to study what residues are more susceptible to be attacked by ·OH, which is one of the most reactive radicals associated to oxidative stress. The results indicate that isoleucine (ILE) probably plays a crucial role in modification processes driven by radicals. Accordingly, QM/MM-MD simulations have been conducted to study both the ·OH-mediated hydrogen abstraction of ILE residues and the induced modification of the resulting ILE radical through hydroxylation or nitrosylation reactions. All in all, in silico studies show the importance of the chemical environment triggered by oxidative stress on the modifications of the virus, which is expected to help for foreseeing the identification or development of antioxidants as therapeutic drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Binding Sites , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Oxidative Stress
3.
Molecules ; 27(21)2022 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099670

ABSTRACT

Since there is an urgent need for novel treatments to combat the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, in silico molecular docking studies were implemented as an attempt to explore the ability of selected bioactive constituents of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) to act as potent SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) antiviral compounds, aiming to explore their ability to interact with SARS-CoV-2 Spike key therapeutic target protein. Our results suggest that EVOO constituents display substantial capacity for binding and interfering with Spike (S) protein, both wild-type and mutant, via the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of Spike, or other binding targets such as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) or the RBD-ACE2 protein complex, inhibiting the interaction of the virus with host cells. This in silico study provides useful insights for the understanding of the mechanism of action of the studied compounds at a molecular level. From the present study, it could be suggested that the studied active phytochemicals could potentially inhibit the Spike protein, contributing thus to the understanding of the role that they can play in future drug designing and the development of anti-COVID-19 therapeutics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Olive Oil , Molecular Docking Simulation , COVID-19/drug therapy , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Binding Sites , Protein Binding
4.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 58(93): 12939-12942, 2022 Nov 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096844

ABSTRACT

Here we show using mass photometry how proline substitutions, commonly used for SARS-CoV-2 spike stabilisation in vaccine design, directly affects ACE2 receptor interactions via dynamics of open and closed states. Conformational changes and ACE2 binding were influenced by spike variant and temperature, but independent of site-specific N-glycosylation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Protein Binding , Photometry , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Binding Sites
5.
J Agric Food Chem ; 70(45): 14403-14413, 2022 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096615

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is initiated by binding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on host cells. Food factors capable of suppressing the binding between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and ACE2 or reducing the ACE2 availability through ACE2 inhibitions may potentially reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. In this study, the chemical compositions of clove water and ethanol extracts were investigated, along with their potentials in suppressing SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-ACE2 binding, reducing ACE2 availability, and scavenging free radicals. Thirty-four compounds were tentatively identified in the clove water and ethanol extracts, with six reported in clove for the first time. Clove water and ethanol extracts dose-dependently suppressed SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binding to ACE2 and inhibited ACE2 activity. The water extract had stronger inhibitory effects than the ethanol extract on a dry weight basis. The clove water extract also had more potent free radical scavenging activities against DPPH• and ABTS•+ (536.9 and 3525.06 µmol TE/g, respectively) than the ethanol extract (58.44 and 2298.01 µmol TE/g, respectively). In contrast, the ethanol extract had greater total phenolic content (TPC) and relative HO• scavenging capacity (HOSC) values (180.03 mg GAE/g and 2181.08 µmol TE/g, respectively) than the water extract (120.12 mg GAE/g and 1483.02 µmol TE/g, respectively). The present study demonstrated the potential of clove in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Syzygium , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Syzygium/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Protein Binding , Binding Sites , Free Radicals , Water , Ethanol
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(20)2022 Oct 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2071518

ABSTRACT

The regular reappearance of coronavirus (CoV) outbreaks over the past 20 years has caused significant health consequences and financial burdens worldwide. The most recent and still ongoing novel CoV pandemic, caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has brought a range of devastating consequences. Due to the exceptionally fast development of vaccines, the mortality rate of the virus has been curbed to a significant extent. However, the limitations of vaccination efficiency and applicability, coupled with the still high infection rate, emphasise the urgent need for discovering safe and effective antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 by suppressing its replication or attenuating its virulence. Non-structural protein 1 (nsp1), a unique viral and conserved leader protein, is a crucial virulence factor for causing host mRNA degradation, suppressing interferon (IFN) expression and host antiviral signalling pathways. In view of the essential role of nsp1 in the CoV life cycle, it is regarded as an exploitable target for antiviral drug discovery. Here, we report a variety of fragment hits against the N-terminal domain of SARS-CoV-2 nsp1 identified by fragment-based screening via X-ray crystallography. We also determined the structure of nsp1 at atomic resolution (0.99 Å). Binding affinities of hits against nsp1 and potential stabilisation were determined by orthogonal biophysical assays such as microscale thermophoresis and thermal shift assays. We identified two ligand-binding sites on nsp1, one deep and one shallow pocket, which are not conserved between the three medically relevant SARS, SARS-CoV-2 and MERS coronaviruses. Our study provides an excellent starting point for the development of more potent nsp1-targeting inhibitors and functional studies on SARS-CoV-2 nsp1.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Ligands , X-Rays , Binding Sites , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Interferons , Virulence Factors
7.
Drug Dev Ind Pharm ; 48(10): 539-551, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2069979

ABSTRACT

Spike glycoprotein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) binds angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptors via its receptor-binding domain (RBD) and mediates virus-to-host cell fusion. Recently emerged omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 possesses around 30 mutations in spike protein where N501Y tremendously increases viral infectivity and transmission. Lectins interact with glycoproteins and mediate innate immunity displaying antiviral, antibacterial, and anticarcinogenic properties. In this study, we analyzed the potential of lectin, and lectin-antibody (spike-specific) complex to inhibit the ACE-2 binding site of wild and N501Y mutated spike protein by utilizing in silico molecular docking and simulation approach. Docking of lectin at reported ACE-2 binding spike-RBD residues displayed the ZDock scores of 1907 for wild and 1750 for N501Y mutated spike-RBD. Binding of lectin with antibody to form proposed dyad complex gave ZDock score of 1174 revealing stable binding. Docking of dyad complex with wild and N501Y mutated spike-RBD, at lectin and antibody individually, showed high efficiency binding hence, effective structural inhibition of spike-RBD. MD simulation of 100 ns of each complex proved high stability of complexes with RMSD values ranging from 0.2 to 1.5 nm. Consistent interactions of lead ACE-2 binding spike residues with lectin during simulation disclosed efficient structural inhibition by lectin against formation of spike RBD-ACE-2 complex. Hence, lectins along with their ability to induce innate immunity against spike glycoprotein can structurally inhibit the spike-RBD when given as lectin-antibody dyad system and thus can be developed into a dual effect treatment against COVID-19. Moreover, the high binding specificity of this system with spike-RBD can be exploited for development of diagnostic and drug-delivery systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Lectins/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Protein Structure, Tertiary , Binding Sites , Protein Binding , Antibodies/metabolism
8.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 990875, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065454

ABSTRACT

Cyanovirin-N (CV-N), a lectin from Nostoc ellipsosporum was found an infusion inhibitory protein for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1. A tandem-repeat of the engineered domain-swapped dimer bound specific sites at hemagglutinin (HA), Ebola and HIV spike glycoproteins as well as dimannosylated HA peptide, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine and high-mannose containing oligosaccharides. Among these, CV-N bound the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein at a dissociation constant (KD) of 18.6 µM (and KD=260 µM to RBD), which was low-affinity carbohydrate-binding as compared with the recognition of the other viral spikes. Binding of dimannosylated peptide to homo-dimeric CVN2 and variants of CVN2 that were pairing Glu-Arg residues sterically located close to its high-affinity carbohydrate binding sites, was measured using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Binding affinity increased with polar interactions, when the mutated residues were used to substitute a single, or two disulfide bonds, in CVN2. Site-specific N-linked glycans on spikes were mediating the infection with influenza virus by broadly neutralizing antibodies to HA and lectin binding to HA was further investigated via modes of saturation transfer difference (STD)-NMR. Our findings showed that stoichiometry and the lectin's binding affinity were revealed by an interaction of CVN2 with dimannose units and either the high- or low-affinity binding site. To understand how these binding mechanisms add to viral membrane fusion we compare our tested HA-derived peptides in affinity with SARS-CoV-2 glycoprotein and review lectins and their mechanisms of binding to enveloped viruses for a potential use to simulate neutralization ability.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , HIV-1 , Acetylglucosamine , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , Carrier Proteins/chemistry , Disulfides , Glycoproteins , Hemagglutinins , Humans , Lectins/genetics , Mannose/chemistry , Oligosaccharides/chemistry , Peptides , Polysaccharides , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Biochemistry ; 61(20): 2188-2197, 2022 Oct 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2050236

ABSTRACT

The receptor binding domain(s) (RBD) of spike (S) proteins of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) undergoes closed to open transition to engage with host ACE2 receptors. In this study, using multi atomistic (equilibrium) and targeted (non-equilibrium) molecular dynamics simulations, we have compared energetics of RBD opening pathways in full-length (modeled from cryo-EM structures) S proteins of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2. Our data indicate that amino acid variations at the RBD interaction interface can culminate into distinct free energy landscapes of RBD opening in these S proteins. We further report that mutations in the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern can reduce the protein-protein interaction affinity of RBD(s) with its neighboring domains and could favor its opening to access ACE2 receptors. The findings can also aid in predicting the impact of future mutations on the rate of S protein opening for rapid host receptor scanning.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Amino Acids/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Binding Sites , COVID-19/genetics , Mutation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
10.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 13(38): 8893-8901, 2022 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2036742

ABSTRACT

Convenient and efficient therapeutic agents are urgently needed to block the continued spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here, the mechanism for the novel orally targeted SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) inhibitor S-217622 is revealed through a molecular dynamics simulation. The difference in the movement modes of the S-217622-Mpro complex and apo-Mpro suggested S-217622 could inhibit the motility intensity of Mpro, thus maintaining their stable binding. Subsequent energy calculations showed that the P2 pharmacophore possessed the highest energy contribution among the three pharmacophores of S-217622. Additionally, hot-spot residues H41, M165, C145, E166, and H163 have strong interactions with S-217622. To further investigate the resistance of S-217622 to six mainstream variants, the binding modes of S-217622 with these variants were elucidated. The subtle differences in energy compared to that of the wild type implied that the binding patterns of these systems were similar, and S-217622 still inhibited these variants. We hope this work will provide theoretical insights for optimizing novel targeted Mpro drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
11.
Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol ; 78(Pt 9): 1156-1170, 2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2018424

ABSTRACT

A remarkable number of SARS-CoV-2 variants and other as yet unmonitored lineages harbor amino-acid substitutions with the potential to modulate the interface between the spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) and its receptor ACE2. The naturally occurring Q498Y substitution, which is present in currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, has drawn the attention of several investigations. While computational predictions and in vitro binding studies suggest that Q498Y increases the binding affinity of the spike protein for ACE2, experimental in vivo models of infection have shown that a triple mutant carrying the Q498Y replacement is fatal in mice. To accurately characterize the binding kinetics of the RBD Q498Y-ACE2 interaction, biolayer interferometry analyses were performed. A significant enhancement of the RBD-ACE2 binding affinity relative to a reference SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern carrying three simultaneous replacements was observed. In addition, the RBD Q498Y mutant bound to ACE2 was crystallized. Compared with the structure of its wild-type counterpart, the RBD Q498Y-ACE2 complex reveals the conservation of major hydrogen-bond interactions and a more populated, nonpolar set of contacts mediated by the bulky side chain of Tyr498 that collectively lead to this increase in binding affinity. In summary, these studies contribute to a deeper understanding of the impact of a relevant mutation present in currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants which might lead to stronger host-pathogen interactions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Binding Sites , Humans , Mice , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
12.
Virus Res ; 321: 198915, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008179

ABSTRACT

The key structure of the interface between the spike protein of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) acts as an essential switch for cell entry by the virus and drugs targets. However, this is largely unknown. Here, we tested three peptides of spike receptor binding domain (RBD) and found that peptide 391-465 aa is the major hACE2-interacting sites in SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD. We then identified essential amino acid residues (403R, 449Y, 454R) of peptide 391-465 aa that were critical for the interaction between the RBD and hACE2. Additionally, a pseudotyped virus containing SARS-CoV-2 spike with individual mutation (R454G, Y449F, R403G, N439I, or N440I) was determined to have very low infectivity compared with the pseudotyped virus containing the wildtype (WT) spike from reference strain Wuhan 1, respectively. Furthermore, we showed the key amino acids had the potential to drug screening. For example, molecular docking (Docking) and infection assay showed that Cephalosporin derivatives can bind with the key amino acids to efficiently block infection of the pseudoviruses with wild type spike or new variants. Moreover, Cefixime inhibited live SARS-CoV-2 infection. These results also provide a novel model for drug screening and support further clinical evaluation and development of Cephalosporin derivatives as novel, safe, and cost-effective drugs for prevention/treatment of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Amino Acids/metabolism , Amino Acids, Essential/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cefixime , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptides/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
13.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 629: 54-60, 2022 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007463

ABSTRACT

Shortly after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has acquired numerous variations in its intracellular proteins to adapt quickly, become more infectious, and ultimately develop drug resistance by mutating certain hotspot residues. To keep the emerging variants at bay, including Omicron and subvariants, FDA has approved the antiviral nirmatrelvir for mild-to-moderate and high-risk COVID-19 cases. Like other viruses, SARS-CoV-2 could acquire mutations in its main protease (Mpro) to adapt and develop resistance against nirmatrelvir. Employing a unique high-throughput protein design technique, the hotspot residues, and signatures of adaptation of Mpro having the highest probability of mutating and rendering nirmatrelvir ineffective were identified. Our results show that ∼40% of the designed mutations in Mpro already exist in the globally circulating SARS-CoV-2 lineages and several predicted mutations. Moreover, several high-frequency, designed mutations were found to be in corroboration with the experimentally reported nirmatrelvir-resistant mutants and are naturally occurring. Our work on the targeted design of the nirmatrelvir-binding site offers a comprehensive picture of potential hotspot sites and resistance mutations in Mpro and is thus crucial in comprehending viral adaptation, robust antiviral design, and surveillance of evolving Mpro variations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , COVID-19/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Genome, Viral , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
14.
J Mol Model ; 28(10): 305, 2022 Sep 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007156

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of COVID-19 severe acute respiratory syndrome, which was fatal for millions of people worldwide, triggered the race to understand in detail the molecular mechanisms of this disease. In this work, the differences of interactions between the SARS-CoV/SARS-CoV-2 Receptor binding domain (RBD) and the human Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor were studied using in silico tools. Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 RBD is more stable and forms more interactions with ACE2 than SARS-CoV. At its interface, three stable binding patterns are observed and named red-K31, green-K353 and blue-M82 according to the central ACE2 binding residue. In SARS-CoV instead, only the first two binding patches are persistently formed during the MD simulation. Our MM/GBSA calculations indicate the binding free energy difference of about 2.5 kcal/mol between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV which is compatible with the experiments. The binding free energy decomposition points out that SARS-CoV-2 RBD-ACE2 interactions of the red-K31 ([Formula: see text]) and blue-M82 ([Formula: see text]) patterns contribute more to the binding affinity than in SARS-CoV ([Formula: see text] for red-K31), while the contribution of the green-K353 pattern is very similar in the two strains ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] for SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, respectively). Five groups of mutations draw our attention at the RBD-ACE2 binding interface, among them, the mutation -PPA469-471/GVEG482-485 has the most important and favorable impact on SARS-CoV-2 binding to the ACE2 receptor. These results, highlighting the molecular differences in the binding between the two viruses, contribute to the common knowledge about the new corona virus and to the development of appropriate antiviral treatments, addressing the necessity of ongoing pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS Virus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Binding Sites , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
15.
Langmuir ; 38(34): 10690-10703, 2022 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2000848

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 has become a global health problem. There is an urgent need to develop therapeutic drugs, effective therapies, and vaccines to prevent the spread of the virus. The virus first enters the host cell through the interaction between the receptor binding domain (RBD) of spike protein and the peptidase domain (PD) of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Therefore, blocking the binding of RBD and ACE2 is a promising strategy to inhibit the invasion and infection of the virus in the host cell. In the study, we designed several miniprotein inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 by single/double/triple-point mutant, based on the initial inhibitor LCB3. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and trajectory analysis were performed for an in-depth analysis of the structural stability, essential protein motions, and per-residue energy decomposition involved in the interaction of inhibitors with the RBD. The results showed that the inhibitors have adapted the protein RBD in the binding interface, thereby forming stable complexes. These inhibitors display low binding free energy in the MM/PBSA calculations, substantiating their strong interaction with RBD. Moreover, the binding affinity of the best miniprotein inhibitor, H6Y-M7L-L17F mutant, to RBD was ∼45 980 times (ΔG = RT ln Ki) higher than that of the initial inhibitor LCB3. Following H6Y-M7L-L17F mutant, the inhibitors with strong binding activity are successively H6Y-L17F, L17F, H6Y, and F30Y mutants. Our research proves that the miniprotein inhibitors can maintain their secondary structure and have a highly stable blocking (binding) effect on SARS-CoV-2. This study proposes novel miniprotein mutant inhibitors with enhanced binding to spike protein and provides potential guidance for the rational design of new SARS-CoV-2 spike protein inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Drug Design , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors
16.
Molecules ; 27(16)2022 Aug 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1997717

ABSTRACT

Many disease-causing viruses target sialic acids (Sias), a class of nine-carbon sugars known to coat the surface of many cells, including those in the lungs. Human beta coronaviridae, known for causing respiratory tract diseases, often bind Sias, and some preferentially bind to those with 9-O-Ac-modification. Currently, co-binding of SARS-CoV-2, a beta coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, to human Sias has been reported and its preference towards α2-3-linked Neu5Ac has been shown. Nevertheless, O-acetylated Sias-protein binding studies are difficult to perform, due to the ester lability. We studied the binding free energy differences between Neu5,9Ac2α2-3GalßpNP and its more stable 9-NAc mimic binding to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein using molecular dynamics and alchemical free energy simulations. We identified multiple Sia-binding pockets, including two novel sites, with similar binding affinities to those of MERS-CoV, a known co-binder of sialic acid. In our binding poses, 9-NAc and 9-OAc Sias bind similarly, suggesting an experimentally reasonable mimic to probe viral mechanisms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Binding Sites , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Pandemics , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sialic Acids/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
17.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 627: 168-175, 2022 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1996029

ABSTRACT

Recent times witnessed an upsurge in the number of COVID19 cases which is primarily attributed to the emergence of several omicron variants, although there is substantial population vaccination coverage across the globe. Currently, many therapeutic antibodies have been approved for emergency usage. The present study critically evaluates the effect of mutations observed in several omicron variants on the binding affinities of different classes of RBD-specific antibodies using a combined approach of immunoinformatics and binding free energy calculations. Our binding affinity data clearly show that omicron variants achieve antibody escape abilities by incorporating mutations at the immunogenic hotspot residues for each specific class of antibody. K417N and Y505H point mutations are primarily accountable for the loss of class I antibody binding affinities. The K417N/Q493R/Q498R/Y505H combined mutant significantly reduces binding affinities for all the class I antibodies. E484A single mutation, on the other hand, drastically reduces binding affinities for most of the class II antibodies. E484A and E484A/Q493R double mutations cause a 33-38% reduction in binding affinity for an approved therapeutic monoclonal antibody. The Q498R RBD mutation observed across all the omicron variants can reduce ∼12% binding affinity for REGN10987, a class III therapeutic antibody, and the L452R/Q498R double mutation causes a ∼6% decrease in binding affinities for another class III therapeutic antibody, LY-CoV1404. Our data suggest that achieving the immune evasion abilities appears to be the selection pressure behind the emergence of omicron variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Binding Sites , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
18.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(33): e2208144119, 2022 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1984601

ABSTRACT

Pattern recognition molecules (PRMs) form an important part of innate immunity, where they facilitate the response to infections and damage by triggering processes such as inflammation. The pentraxin family of soluble PRMs comprises long and short pentraxins, with the former containing unique N-terminal regions unrelated to other proteins or each other. No complete high-resolution structural information exists about long pentraxins, unlike the short pentraxins, where there is an abundance of both X-ray and cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM)-derived structures. This study presents a high-resolution structure of the prototypical long pentraxin, PTX3. Cryo-EM yielded a 2.5-Å map of the C-terminal pentraxin domains that revealed a radically different quaternary structure compared to other pentraxins, comprising a glycosylated D4 symmetrical octameric complex stabilized by an extensive disulfide network. The cryo-EM map indicated α-helices that extended N terminal of the pentraxin domains that were not fully resolved. AlphaFold was used to predict the remaining N-terminal structure of the octameric PTX3 complex, revealing two long tetrameric coiled coils with two hinge regions, which was validated using classification of cryo-EM two-dimensional averages. The resulting hybrid cryo-EM/AlphaFold structure allowed mapping of ligand binding sites, such as C1q and fibroblast growth factor-2, as well as rationalization of previous biochemical data. Given the relevance of PTX3 in conditions ranging from COVID-19 prognosis, cancer progression, and female infertility, this structure could be used to inform the understanding and rational design of therapies for these disorders and processes.


Subject(s)
C-Reactive Protein , Complement Activation , Serum Amyloid P-Component , Binding Sites , C-Reactive Protein/chemistry , C-Reactive Protein/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Ligands , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Domains , Serum Amyloid P-Component/chemistry
19.
Drug Des Devel Ther ; 16: 2463-2478, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1978914

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic caused by the COVID-19 disease has reached everywhere in the world and has affected every aspect of our lives. As of the current data, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported more than 300 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide and more than 5 million deaths. Mpro is an enzyme that plays a key role in the life cycle of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and it is vital for the disease progression. The Mpro enzyme seems to have several allosteric sites that can hinder the enzyme catalytic activity. Furthermore, some of these allosteric sites are located at or nearby the dimerization interface which is essential for the overall Mpro activity. In this review paper, we investigate the potential of the Mpro allosteric site to act as a drug target, especially since they interestingly appear to be resistant to mutation. The work is illustrated through three subsequent sections: First, the two main categories of Mpro allosteric sites have been explained and discussed. Second, a total of six pockets have been studied and evaluated for their druggability and cavity characteristics. Third, the experimental and computational attempts for the discovery of new allosteric inhibitors have been illustrated and discussed. To sum up, this review paper gives a detailed insight into the feasibility of developing new Mpro inhibitors to act as a potential treatment for the COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Allosteric Site , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
20.
ACS Nano ; 16(8): 12276-12289, 2022 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1972517

ABSTRACT

The elucidation of viral-receptor interactions and an understanding of virus-spreading mechanisms are of great importance, particularly in the era of a pandemic. Indeed, advances in computational chemistry, synthetic biology, and protein engineering have allowed precise prediction and characterization of such interactions. Nevertheless, the hazards of the infectiousness of viruses, their rapid mutagenesis, and the need to study viral-receptor interactions in a complex in vivo setup call for further developments. Here, we show the development of biocompatible genetically engineered extracellular vesicles (EVs) that display the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 on their surface as coronavirus mimetics (EVsRBD). Loading EVsRBD with iron oxide nanoparticles makes them MRI-visible and, thus, allows mapping of the binding of RBD to ACE2 receptors noninvasively in live subjects. Moreover, we show that EVsRBD can be modified to display mutants of the RBD of SARS-CoV-2, allowing rapid screening of currently raised or predicted variants of the virus. The proposed platform thus shows relevance and cruciality in the examination of quickly evolving pathogenic viruses in an adjustable, fast, and safe manner. Relying on MRI for visualization, the presented approach could be considered in the future to map ligand-receptor binding events in deep tissues, which are not accessible to luminescence-based imaging.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Extracellular Vesicles , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Binding Sites , Protein Binding , Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism , Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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