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1.
Chem Biodivers ; 18(11): e2100674, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1615945

ABSTRACT

Chemical investigation on a Streptomyces sp. strain MS180069 isolated from a sediment sample collected from the South China Sea, yielded the new benzo[f]isoindole-dione alkaloid, bhimamycin J (1). The structure was determined by extensive spectroscopic analysis, including HRMS, 1D, 2D NMR, and X-ray diffraction techniques. A molecular docking study revealed 1 as a new molecular motif that binds with human angiotensin converting enzyme2 (ACE2), recently described as the cell surface receptor responsible for uptake of 2019-CoV-2. Using enzyme assays we confirm that 1 inhibits human ACE2 79.7 % at 25 µg/mL.


Subject(s)
Alkaloids/chemistry , Geologic Sediments/microbiology , Isoindoles/chemistry , Streptomyces/chemistry , Alkaloids/metabolism , Alkaloids/pharmacology , Alkaloids/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Fungi/drug effects , Gram-Negative Bacteria/drug effects , Gram-Positive Bacteria/drug effects , Humans , Isoindoles/isolation & purification , Isoindoles/metabolism , Isoindoles/pharmacology , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , Molecular Conformation , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Streptomyces/isolation & purification , Streptomyces/metabolism
2.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 14(1): 191-200, 2022 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616941

ABSTRACT

At present, the most powerful new drugs for COVID-19 are antibody proteins. In addition, there are some star small molecule drugs. However, there are few studies on nanomaterials. Here, we study the intact graphene (IG), defective graphene (DG), and graphene oxide (GO) interacting with COVID-19 protein. We find that they show progressive inhibition of COVID-19 protein. By using molecular dynamics simulations, we study the interactions between SARS-CoV-2 3CL Mpro and graphene-related materials (GRMs): IG, DG, and GO. The results show that Mpro can be absorbed onto the surfaces of investigated materials. DG and GO interacted with Mpro more intensely, causing the decisive part of Mpro to become more flexible. Further analysis shows that compared to IG and GO, DG can inactivate Mpro and inhibit its expression effectively by destroying the active pocket of Mpro. Our work not only provides detailed and reliable theoretical guidance for the application of GRMs in treating with SARS-CoV-2 but also helps in developing new graphene-based anti-COVID-19 materials.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Graphite/chemistry , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adsorption , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Graphite/metabolism , Humans , Ligands , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(1)2022 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613826

ABSTRACT

Nucleic acid aptamers specific to S-protein and its receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2) virions are of high interest as potential inhibitors of viral infection and recognizing elements in biosensors. Development of specific therapy and biosensors is complicated by an emergence of new viral strains bearing amino acid substitutions and probable differences in glycosylation sites. Here, we studied affinity of a set of aptamers to two Wuhan-type RBD of S-protein expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cell line and Pichia pastoris that differ in glycosylation patterns. The expression system for the RBD protein has significant effects, both on values of dissociation constants and relative efficacy of the aptamer binding. We propose glycosylation of the RBD as the main force for observed differences. Moreover, affinity of a several aptamers was affected by a site of biotinylation. Thus, the robustness of modified aptamers toward new virus variants should be carefully tested.


Subject(s)
Aptamers, Nucleotide/chemistry , Aptamers, Nucleotide/metabolism , Immobilized Nucleic Acids/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , CHO Cells , Cricetulus , Glycosylation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Protein Processing, Post-Translational , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Saccharomycetales/genetics
4.
Front Immunol ; 12: 807134, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604257

ABSTRACT

ORF8 is a viral immunoglobulin-like (Ig-like) domain protein encoded by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA genome. It tends to evolve rapidly and interfere with immune responses. However, the structural characteristics of various coronavirus ORF8 proteins and their subsequent effects on biological functions remain unclear. Herein, we determined the crystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 (S84) (one of the epidemic isoforms) and the bat coronavirus RaTG13 ORF8 variant at 1.62 Å and 1.76 Å resolution, respectively. Comparison of these ORF8 proteins demonstrates that the 62-77 residues in Ig-like domain of coronavirus ORF8 adopt different conformations. Combined with mutagenesis assays, the residue Cys20 of ORF8 is responsible for forming the covalent disulfide-linked dimer in crystal packing and in vitro biochemical conditions. Furthermore, immune cell-binding assays indicate that various ORF8 (SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 (L84), ORF8 (S84), and RaTG13 ORF8) proteins have different interaction capabilities with human CD14+ monocytes in human peripheral blood. These results provide new insights into the specific characteristics of various coronavirus ORF8 and suggest that ORF8 variants may influence disease-related immune responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Chiroptera/immunology , Immunity/immunology , Immunoglobulin Domains/immunology , Viral Proteins/immunology , Animals , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chiroptera/genetics , Chiroptera/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Immunity/genetics , Immunoglobulin Domains/genetics , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/immunology , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Mutation , Protein Binding , Species Specificity , Viral Proteins/classification , Viral Proteins/genetics
5.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 208-211, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598042

ABSTRACT

We performed an annotation of 35 mutations in the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. Our analysis of the mutations indicates that Omicron has gained prominent immune evasion and potential for enhanced transmissibility. Previous modeling study has revealed that continued evolution in both immune evasion and enhanced transmissibility by SARS-CoV-2 would compromise vaccines as tools for the pandemic control. To combat the future variants of SARS-CoV-2, the world needs novel antiviral drugs that are effective at curb viral spreading without introducing additional selective pressure towards resistant variants.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Design/methods , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mutation , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
J Am Soc Mass Spectrom ; 33(1): 181-188, 2022 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596214

ABSTRACT

Affinity selection-mass spectrometry, which includes magnetic microbead affinity selection-screening (MagMASS), is ideal for the discovery of ligands in complex mixtures that bind to pharmacological targets. Therapeutic agents are needed to prevent or treat COVID-19, which is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Infection of human cells by SARS-CoV-2 involves binding of the virus spike protein subunit 1 (S1) to the human cell receptor angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2). Like antibodies, small molecules have the potential to block the interaction of the viral S1 protein with human ACE2 and prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, a MagMASS assay was developed for the discovery of ligands to the S1 protein. Unlike previous MagMASS approaches, this new assay used robotics for 5-fold enhancement of throughput and sensitivity. The assay was validated using the SBP-1 peptide, which is identical to the ACE2 amino acid sequence recognized by the S1 protein, and then applied to the discovery of natural ligands from botanical extracts. Small molecule ligands to the S1 protein were discovered in extracts of the licorice species, Glycyrrhiza inflata. In particular, the licorice ligand licochalcone A was identified through dereplication and comparison with standards using HPLC with high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Discovery/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites/drug effects , COVID-19/metabolism , Chalcones/chemistry , Chalcones/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Fabaceae/chemistry , Humans , Ligands , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
7.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(12): e1010175, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592244

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, as dangerous mutations emerge, there is an increased demand for specific treatments for SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. The spike glycoprotein on the virus envelope binds to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on host cells through its receptor binding domain (RBD) to mediate virus entry. Thus, blocking this interaction may inhibit viral entry and consequently stop infection. Here, we generated fusion proteins composed of the extracellular portions of ACE2 and RBD fused to the Fc portion of human IgG1 (ACE2-Ig and RBD-Ig, respectively). We demonstrate that ACE2-Ig is enzymatically active and that it can be recognized by the SARS-CoV-2 RBD, independently of its enzymatic activity. We further show that RBD-Ig efficiently inhibits in-vivo SARS-CoV-2 infection better than ACE2-Ig. Mechanistically, we show that anti-spike antibody generation, ACE2 enzymatic activity, and ACE2 surface expression were not affected by RBD-Ig. Finally, we show that RBD-Ig is more efficient than ACE2-Ig at neutralizing high virus titers. We thus propose that RBD-Ig physically blocks virus infection by binding to ACE2 and that RBD-Ig should be used for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/metabolism , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Protein Domains , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , Binding Sites, Antibody , COVID-19/prevention & control , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/therapeutic use , Immunoglobulin G/therapeutic use , Mice, Transgenic , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vero Cells
8.
PLoS Biol ; 19(12): e3001510, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592147

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects a broader range of mammalian species than previously predicted, binding a diversity of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) orthologs despite extensive sequence divergence. Within this sequence degeneracy, we identify a rare sequence combination capable of conferring SARS-CoV-2 resistance. We demonstrate that this sequence was likely unattainable during human evolution due to deleterious effects on ACE2 carboxypeptidase activity, which has vasodilatory and cardioprotective functions in vivo. Across the 25 ACE2 sites implicated in viral binding, we identify 6 amino acid substitutions unique to mouse-one of the only known mammalian species resistant to SARS-CoV-2. Substituting human variants at these positions is sufficient to confer binding of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein to mouse ACE2, facilitating cellular infection. Conversely, substituting mouse variants into either human or dog ACE2 abolishes viral binding, diminishing cellular infection. However, these same substitutions decrease human ACE2 activity by 50% and are predicted as pathogenic, consistent with the extreme rarity of human polymorphisms at these sites. This trade-off can be avoided, however, depending on genetic background; if substituted simultaneously, these same mutations have no deleterious effect on dog ACE2 nor that of the rodent ancestor estimated to exist 70 million years ago. This genetic contingency (epistasis) may have therefore opened the road to resistance for some species, while making humans susceptible to viruses that use these ACE2 surfaces for binding, as does SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Disease Resistance/genetics , Epistasis, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Amino Acids , Angiotensin II/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/genetics , Dogs , Evolution, Molecular , Gene Frequency , Humans , Hydrolysis , Mice , Mutation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Attachment
9.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7345, 2021 12 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585860

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Kappa and Beta variants with enhanced transmissibility and resistance to neutralizing antibodies has created new challenges for the control of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the structural nature of Kappa and Beta spike (S) proteins and their association with ACE2 is of significant importance. Here we present two cryo-EM structures for each of the Kappa and Beta spikes in the open and open-prone transition states. Compared with wild-type (WT) or G614 spikes, the two variant spikes appear more untwisted/open especially for Beta, and display a considerable population shift towards the open state as well as more pronounced conformational dynamics. Moreover, we capture four conformational states of the S-trimer/ACE2 complex for each of the two variants, revealing an enlarged conformational landscape for the Kappa and Beta S-ACE2 complexes and pronounced population shift towards the three RBDs up conformation. These results implicate that the mutations in Kappa and Beta may modify the kinetics of receptor binding and viral fusion to improve virus fitness. Combined with biochemical analysis, our structural study shows that the two variants are enabled to efficiently interact with ACE2 receptor despite their sensitive ACE2 binding surface is modified to escape recognition by some potent neutralizing MAbs. Our findings shed new light on the pathogenicity and immune evasion mechanism of the Beta and Kappa variants.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Cryoelectron Microscopy , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Humans , Kinetics , Molecular Conformation , Mutation , Protein Binding
10.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24336, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585788

ABSTRACT

ACE2 is a membrane protein that regulates the cardiovascular system. Additionally, ACE2 acts as a receptor for host cell infection by human coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 that emerged as the cause of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and has brought unprecedented burden to economy and health. ACE2 binds the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 with high affinity and shows little variation in amino acid sequence meaning natural resistance is rare. The discovery of a novel short ACE2 isoform (deltaACE2) provides evidence for inter-individual differences in SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and severity, and likelihood of developing subsequent 'Long COVID'. Critically, deltaACE2 loses SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binding sites in the extracellular domain, and is predicted to confer reduced susceptibility to viral infection. We aimed to assess the differential expression of full-length ACE2 versus deltaACE2 in a panel of human tissues (kidney, heart, lung, and liver) that are implicated in COVID-19, and confirm ACE2 protein in these tissues. Using dual antibody staining, we show that deltaACE2 localises, and is enriched, in lung airway epithelia and bile duct epithelia in the liver. Finally, we also confirm that a fluorescently tagged SARS-CoV-2 spike protein monomer shows low binding at lung and bile duct epithelia where dACE2 is enriched.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Bile Ducts/metabolism , Bile Ducts/virology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton , Protein Binding , Protein Isoforms/chemistry , Protein Isoforms/genetics , Protein Isoforms/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Internalization
11.
J Med Chem ; 64(8): 4991-5000, 2021 04 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574766

ABSTRACT

The main protease (3CL Mpro) from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, is an essential enzyme for viral replication with no human counterpart, making it an attractive drug target. To date, no small-molecule clinical drugs are available that specifically inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. To aid rational drug design, we determined a neutron structure of Mpro in complex with the α-ketoamide inhibitor telaprevir at near-physiological (22 °C) temperature. We directly observed protonation states in the inhibitor complex and compared them with those in the ligand-free Mpro, revealing modulation of the active-site protonation states upon telaprevir binding. We suggest that binding of other α-ketoamide covalent inhibitors can lead to the same protonation state changes in the Mpro active site. Thus, by studying the protonation state changes induced by inhibitors, we provide crucial insights to help guide rational drug design, allowing precise tailoring of inhibitors to manipulate the electrostatic environment of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Oligopeptides/chemistry , Binding Sites , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography/methods , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Neutrons , Oligopeptides/metabolism , Protein Conformation , Protons
12.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572669

ABSTRACT

Genotype screening was implemented in Italy and showed a significant prevalence of new SARS-CoV-2 mutants carrying Q675H mutation, near the furin cleavage site of spike protein. Currently, this mutation, which is expressed on different SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating worldwide, has not been thoughtfully investigated. Therefore, we performed phylogenetic and biocomputational analysis to better understand SARS-CoV-2 Q675H mutants' evolutionary relationships with other circulating lineages and Q675H function in its molecular context. Our studies reveal that Q675H spike mutation is the result of parallel evolution because it arose independently in separate evolutionary clades. In silico data show that the Q675H mutation gives rise to a hydrogen-bonds network in the spike polar region. This results in an optimized directionality of arginine residues involved in interaction of spike with the furin binding pocket, thus improving proteolytic exposure of the viral protein. Furin was predicted to have a greater affinity for Q675H than Q675 substrate conformations. As a consequence, Q675H mutation could confer a fitness advantage to SARS-CoV-2 by promoting a more efficient viral entry. Interestingly, here we have shown that Q675H spike mutation is documented in all the VOCs. This finding highlights that VOCs are still evolving to enhance viral fitness and to adapt to the human host. At the same time, it may suggest Q675H spike mutation involvement in SARS-CoV-2 evolution.


Subject(s)
Furin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , Genetic Fitness , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
13.
J Autoimmun ; 126: 102779, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561067

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been emerging in the form of different variants since its first emergence in early December 2019. A new Variant of Concern (VOC) named the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) was reported recently. This variant has a large number of mutations in the S protein. To date, there exists a limited information on the Omicron variant. Here we present the analyses of mutation distribution, the evolutionary relationship of Omicron with previous variants, and probable structural impact of mutations on antibody binding. Our analyses show the presence of 46 high prevalence mutations specific to Omicron. Twenty-three of these are localized within the spike (S) protein and the rest localized to the other 3 structural proteins of the virus, the envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N). Phylogenetic analysis showed that the Omicron is closely related to the Gamma (P.1) variant. The structural analyses showed that several mutations are localized to the region of the S protein that is the major target of antibodies, suggesting that the mutations in the Omicron variant may affect the binding affinities of antibodies to the S protein.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Binding Sites , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Structure, Tertiary , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
14.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555015

ABSTRACT

We have developed a monoclonal antibody (mAb) cocktail (ZRC-3308) comprising of ZRC3308-A7 and ZRC3308-B10 in the ratio 1:1 for COVID-19 treatment. The mAbs were designed to have reduced immune effector functions and increased circulation half-life. mAbs showed good binding affinities to non-competing epitopes on RBD of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and were found neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, B.1.617.2, and B.1.617.2 AY.1 in vitro. The mAb cocktail demonstrated effective prophylactic and therapeutic activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection in Syrian hamsters. The antibody cocktail appears to be a promising candidate for prophylactic use and for therapy in early COVID-19 cases that have not progressed to severe disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibody Affinity , Binding Sites , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Epitopes , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mesocricetus , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
15.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 102: 108424, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549851

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV2 mutants B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 contain a key mutation N501Y. B.1.135 and P.1 lineages have another mutation, E484K. Here, we decode the effect of these two mutations on the host receptor, ACE2, and neutralizing antibody (B38) recognition. The N501Y RBD mutant binds to ACE2 with higher affinity due to improved π-π stacking and π-cation interactions. The higher binding affinity of the E484K mutant is caused due to the formation of additional hydrogen bond and salt-bridge interactions with ACE2. Both the mutants bind to the B38 antibody with reduced affinity due to the loss of several hydrogen-bonding interactions. The insights obtained from the study are crucial to interpret the increased transmissibility and reduced neutralization efficacy of rapidly emerging SARS-CoV2 VOCs.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/ultrastructure , Antibody Affinity/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/ultrastructure , Virus Internalization
16.
Cell Rep ; 37(12): 110156, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549680

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) Beta (B.1.351) and Gamma (P.1) variants of concern (VoCs) include a key mutation (N501Y) found in the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant that enhances affinity of the spike protein for its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Additional mutations are found in these variants at residues 417 and 484 that appear to promote antibody evasion. In contrast, the Epsilon variants (B.1.427/429) lack the N501Y mutation yet exhibit antibody evasion. We have engineered spike proteins to express these receptor binding domain (RBD) VoC mutations either in isolation or in different combinations and analyze the effects using biochemical assays and cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structural analyses. Overall, our findings suggest that the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variant spikes can be rationalized as the result of mutations that confer increased ACE2 affinity, increased antibody evasion, or both, providing a framework to dissect the molecular factors that drive VoC evolution.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
17.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 11 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542799

ABSTRACT

As SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread among human populations, genetic changes occur and accumulate in the circulating virus. Some of these genetic changes have caused amino acid mutations, including deletions, which may have a potential impact on critical SARS-CoV-2 countermeasures, including vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. Considerable efforts have been made to categorize the amino acid mutations of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein, along with certain mutations in other regions within the S protein as specific variants, in an attempt to study the relationship between these mutations and the biological behavior of the virus. However, the currently used whole genome sequencing surveillance technologies can test only a small fraction of the positive specimens with high viral loads and often generate uncertainties in nucleic acid sequencing that needs additional verification for precision determination of mutations. This article introduces a generic protocol to routinely sequence a 437-bp nested RT-PCR cDNA amplicon of the ACE2 RBD and a 490-bp nested RT-PCR cDNA amplicon of the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the S gene for detection of the amino acid mutations needed for accurate determination of all variants of concern and variants of interest according to the definitions published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This protocol was able to amplify both nucleic acid targets into cDNA amplicons to be used as templates for Sanger sequencing on all 16 clinical specimens that were positive for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mutation , Protein Domains/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Analysis, DNA , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
18.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 23(27): 14873-14888, 2021 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541260

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, first detected in December 2019, is still emerging through virus mutations. Although almost under control in some countries due to effective vaccines that are mitigating the worldwide pandemic, the urgency to develop additional vaccines and therapeutic treatments is imperative. In this work, the natural polyphenols corilagin and 1,3,6-tri-O-galloy-ß-d-glucose (TGG) are investigated to determine the structural basis of inhibitor interactions as potential candidates to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 viral entry into target cells. First, the therapeutic potential of the ligands are assessed on the ACE2/wild-type RBD. We first use molecular docking followed by molecular dynamics, to take into account the conformational flexibility that plays a significant role in ligand binding and that cannot be captured using only docking, and then analyze more precisely the affinity of these ligands using MMPBSA binding free energy. We show that both ligands bind to the ACE2/wild-type RBD interface with good affinities which might prevent the ACE2/RBD association. Second, we confirm the potency of these ligands to block the ACE2/RBD association using a combination of surface plasmon resonance and biochemical inhibition assays. These experiments confirm that TGG and, to a lesser extent, corilagin, inhibit the binding of RBD to ACE2. Both experiments and simulations show that the ligands interact preferentially with RBD, while weak binding is observed with ACE2, hence, avoiding potential physiological side-effects induced by the inhibition of ACE2. In addition to the wild-type RBD, we also study numerically three RBD mutations (E484K, N501Y and E484K/N501Y) found in the main SARS-CoV-2 variants of concerns. We find that corilagin could be as effective for RBD/E484K but less effective for the RBD/N501Y and RBD/E484K-N501Y mutants, while TGG strongly binds at relevant locations to all three mutants, demonstrating the significant interest of these molecules as potential inhibitors for variants of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Gallic Acid/analogs & derivatives , Glucose/analogs & derivatives , Glucosides/chemistry , Hydrolyzable Tannins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , Gallic Acid/chemistry , Glucose/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
20.
J Mol Model ; 27(11): 323, 2021 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525539

ABSTRACT

The world has face the COVID-19 pandemic which has already caused millions of death. Due to the urgency in fighting the virus, we study five residues of free amino acids present in the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S). We investigated the spontaneous interaction between amino acids and silver ions (Ag+), considering these ions as a virucide chemical agent for SARS-CoV-2. The amino acid-Ag+ systems were investigated in a gaseous medium and a simulated water environment was described with a continuum model (PCM) the calculations were performed within the framework of density functional theory (DFT). Calculations related to the occupied orbitals of higher energy showed that Ag+ has a tendency to interact with the nitrile groups (-NH). The negative values of the Gibbs free energies show that the interaction process between amino acids-Ag+ in both media occurs spontaneously. There is a decrease in Gibbs free energy from the amino acid-Ag+ interactions immersed in a water solvation simulator.


Subject(s)
Amino Acids/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Density Functional Theory , Silver/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Amino Acids/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Binding Sites , Cations, Monovalent , Gene Expression , Humans , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Silver/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Static Electricity , Thermodynamics
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