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1.
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
2.
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
3.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 574: 14-19, 2021 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446453

ABSTRACT

Following the initial surges of the Alpha (B.1.1.7) and the Beta (B.1.351) variants, a more infectious Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is now surging, further deepening the health crises caused by the pandemic. The sharp rise in cases attributed to the Delta variant has made it especially disturbing and is a variant of concern. Fortunately, current vaccines offer protection against known variants of concern, including the Delta variant. However, the Delta variant has exhibited some ability to dodge the immune system as it is found that neutralizing antibodies from prior infections or vaccines are less receptive to binding with the Delta spike protein. Here, we investigated the structural changes caused by the mutations in the Delta variant's receptor-binding interface and explored the effects on binding with the ACE2 receptor as well as with neutralizing antibodies. We find that the receptor-binding ß-loop-ß motif adopts an altered but stable conformation causing separation in some of the antibody binding epitopes. Our study shows reduced binding of neutralizing antibodies and provides a possible mechanism for the immune evasion exhibited by the Delta variant.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immune Evasion/immunology , Mutation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acids/genetics , Amino Acids/immunology , Amino Acids/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites/genetics , Binding Sites/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation/genetics , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(42)2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442868

ABSTRACT

The association of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein with human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) represents the first required step for cellular entry. SARS-CoV-2 has continued to evolve with the emergence of several novel variants, and amino acid changes in the RBD have been implicated with increased fitness and potential for immune evasion. Reliably predicting the effect of amino acid changes on the ability of the RBD to interact more strongly with the hACE2 can help assess the implications for public health and the potential for spillover and adaptation into other animals. Here, we introduce a two-step framework that first relies on 48 independent 4-ns molecular dynamics (MD) trajectories of RBD-hACE2 variants to collect binding energy terms decomposed into Coulombic, covalent, van der Waals, lipophilic, generalized Born solvation, hydrogen bonding, π-π packing, and self-contact correction terms. The second step implements a neural network to classify and quantitatively predict binding affinity changes using the decomposed energy terms as descriptors. The computational base achieves a validation accuracy of 82.8% for classifying single-amino acid substitution variants of the RBD as worsening or improving binding affinity for hACE2 and a correlation coefficient of 0.73 between predicted and experimentally calculated changes in binding affinities. Both metrics are calculated using a fivefold cross-validation test. Our method thus sets up a framework for screening binding affinity changes caused by unknown single- and multiple-amino acid changes offering a valuable tool to predict host adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 variants toward tighter hACE2 binding.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Neural Networks, Computer , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Substitution , Binding Sites/genetics , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19161, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440480

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is associated with fatal pulmonary fibrosis. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can be developed to induce RNA interference against SARS-CoV-2, and their susceptible target sites can be inferred by Argonaute crosslinking immunoprecipitation sequencing (AGO CLIP). Here, by reanalysing AGO CLIP data in RNA viruses, we delineated putative AGO binding in the conserved non-structural protein 12 (nsp12) region encoding RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) in SARS-CoV-2. We utilised the inferred AGO binding to optimise the local RNA folding parameter to calculate target accessibility and predict all potent siRNA target sites in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, avoiding sequence variants. siRNAs loaded onto AGO also repressed seed (positions 2-8)-matched transcripts by acting as microRNAs (miRNAs). To utilise this, we further screened 13 potential siRNAs whose seed sequences were matched to known antifibrotic miRNAs and confirmed their miRNA-like activity. A miR-27-mimicking siRNA designed to target the nsp12 region (27/RdRP) was validated to silence a synthesised nsp12 RNA mimic in lung cell lines and function as an antifibrotic miR-27 in regulating target transcriptomes related to TGF-ß signalling. siRNA sequences with an antifibrotic miRNA-like activity that could synergistically treat COVID-19 are available online ( http://clip.korea.ac.kr/covid19 ).


Subject(s)
Argonaute Proteins/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , MicroRNAs/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , A549 Cells , Argonaute Proteins/metabolism , Base Sequence , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , HeLa Cells , Humans , Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , RNA Interference , RNA-Seq/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5652, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440473

ABSTRACT

The emergence of numerous variants of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has presented new challenges to the global efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we obtain two cross-neutralizing antibodies (7D6 and 6D6) that target Sarbecoviruses' receptor-binding domain (RBD) with sub-picomolar affinities and potently neutralize authentic SARS-CoV-2. Crystal structures show that both antibodies bind a cryptic site different from that recognized by existing antibodies and highly conserved across Sarbecovirus isolates. Binding of these two antibodies to the RBD clashes with the adjacent N-terminal domain and disrupts the viral spike. Both antibodies confer good resistance to mutations in the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants. Thus, our results have direct relevance to public health as options for passive antibody therapeutics and even active prophylactics. They can also inform the design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Immunization, Passive/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites/genetics , Binding Sites/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/administration & dosage , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/isolation & purification , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/metabolism , CHO Cells , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetulus , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics/prevention & control , Protein Multimerization , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sf9 Cells , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
7.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5654, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440471

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for animal models to study SARS-CoV-2 pathogenicity. Here, we generate and characterize a novel mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 strain, MASCp36, that causes severe respiratory symptoms, and mortality. Our model exhibits age- and gender-related mortality akin to severe COVID-19. Deep sequencing identified three amino acid substitutions, N501Y, Q493H, and K417N, at the receptor binding domain (RBD) of MASCp36, during in vivo passaging. All three RBD mutations significantly enhance binding affinity to its endogenous receptor, ACE2. Cryo-electron microscopy analysis of human ACE2 (hACE2), or mouse ACE2 (mACE2), in complex with the RBD of MASCp36, at 3.1 to 3.7 Å resolution, reveals the molecular basis for the receptor-binding switch. N501Y and Q493H enhance the binding affinity to hACE2, whereas triple mutations at N501Y/Q493H/K417N decrease affinity and reduce infectivity of MASCp36. Our study provides a platform for studying SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, and unveils the molecular mechanism for its rapid adaptation and evolution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Domains/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
8.
Cell Rep ; 36(13): 109754, 2021 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401298

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro) is a target for antiviral drug development. It is essential for processing viral polyproteins for replication and functions in host immune evasion by cleaving ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like protein (Ubl) conjugates. While highly conserved, SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV PLpro have contrasting Ub/Ubl substrate preferences. Using a combination of structural analyses and functional assays, we identify a molecular sensor within the S1 Ub-binding site of PLpro that serves as a key determinant of substrate specificity. Variations within the S1 sensor specifically alter cleavage of Ub substrates but not of the Ubl interferon-stimulated gene 15 protein (ISG15). Significantly, a variant of concern associated with immune evasion carries a mutation in the S1 sensor that enhances PLpro activity on Ub substrates. Collectively, our data identify the S1 sensor region as a potential hotspot of variability that could alter host antiviral immune responses to newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 lineages.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/ultrastructure , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Papain/chemistry , Papain/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/chemistry , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Substrate Specificity/genetics , Ubiquitin/metabolism , Ubiquitins/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism
9.
J Proteome Res ; 19(12): 4844-4856, 2020 12 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387125

ABSTRACT

Despite considerable research progress on SARS-CoV-2, the direct zoonotic origin (intermediate host) of the virus remains ambiguous. The most definitive approach to identify the intermediate host would be the detection of SARS-CoV-2-like coronaviruses in wild animals. However, due to the high number of animal species, it is not feasible to screen all the species in the laboratory. Given that binding to ACE2 proteins is the first step for the coronaviruses to invade host cells, we propose a computational pipeline to identify potential intermediate hosts of SARS-CoV-2 by modeling the binding affinity between the Spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) and host ACE2. Using this pipeline, we systematically examined 285 ACE2 variants from mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians, and found that the binding energies calculated for the modeled Spike-RBD/ACE2 complex structures correlated closely with the effectiveness of animal infection as determined by multiple experimental data sets. Built on the optimized binding affinity cutoff, we suggest a set of 96 mammals, including 48 experimentally investigated ones, which are permissive to SARS-CoV-2, with candidates from primates, rodents, and carnivores at the highest risk of infection. Overall, this work not only suggests a limited range of potential intermediate SARS-CoV-2 hosts for further experimental investigation, but also, more importantly, it proposes a new structure-based approach to general zoonotic origin and susceptibility analyses that are critical for human infectious disease control and wildlife protection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Mammals/genetics , Mammals/virology , Pandemics , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Domains/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viral Zoonoses/genetics , Viral Zoonoses/virology
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(17)2021 Aug 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379976

ABSTRACT

Antisense peptide technology (APT) is based on a useful heuristic algorithm for rational peptide design. It was deduced from empirical observations that peptides consisting of complementary (sense and antisense) amino acids interact with higher probability and affinity than the randomly selected ones. This phenomenon is closely related to the structure of the standard genetic code table, and at the same time, is unrelated to the direction of its codon sequence translation. The concept of complementary peptide interaction is discussed, and its possible applications to diagnostic tests and bioengineering research are summarized. Problems and difficulties that may arise using APT are discussed, and possible solutions are proposed. The methodology was tested on the example of SARS-CoV-2. It is shown that the CABS-dock server accurately predicts the binding of antisense peptides to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain without requiring predefinition of the binding site. It is concluded that the benefits of APT outweigh the costs of random peptide screening and could lead to considerable savings in time and resources, especially if combined with other computational and immunochemical methods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Peptides/metabolism , Protein Engineering/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Algorithms , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunochemistry/methods , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptides/genetics , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(17)2021 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374427

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is the causative agent of the COVID19 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes for a small accessory protein termed Orf9b, which targets the mitochondrial outer membrane protein TOM70 in infected cells. TOM70 is involved in a signaling cascade that ultimately leads to the induction of type I interferons (IFN-I). This cascade depends on the recruitment of Hsp90-bound proteins to the N-terminal domain of TOM70. Binding of Orf9b to TOM70 decreases the expression of IFN-I; however, the underlying mechanism remains elusive. We show that the binding of Orf9b to TOM70 inhibits the recruitment of Hsp90 and chaperone-associated proteins. We characterized the binding site of Orf9b within the C-terminal domain of TOM70 and found that a serine in position 53 of Orf9b and a glutamate in position 477 of TOM70 are crucial for the association of both proteins. A phosphomimetic variant Orf9bS53E showed drastically reduced binding to TOM70 and did not inhibit Hsp90 recruitment, suggesting that Orf9b-TOM70 complex formation is regulated by phosphorylation. Eventually, we identified the N-terminal TPR domain of TOM70 as a second binding site for Orf9b, which indicates a so far unobserved contribution of chaperones in the mitochondrial targeting of the viral protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Humans , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/genetics , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/isolation & purification , Mutation , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Phosphorylation , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Binding/immunology , Protein Domains/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vero Cells
12.
Nat Struct Mol Biol ; 28(9): 731-739, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356577

ABSTRACT

The B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 first detected in the UK harbors amino-acid substitutions and deletions in the spike protein that potentially enhance host angiotensin conversion enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding and viral immune evasion. Here we report cryo-EM structures of the spike protein of B.1.1.7 in the apo and ACE2-bound forms. The apo form showed one or two receptor-binding domains (RBDs) in the open conformation, without populating the fully closed state. All three RBDs were engaged in ACE2 binding. The B.1.1.7-specific A570D mutation introduces a molecular switch that could modulate the opening and closing of the RBD. The N501Y mutation introduces a π-π interaction that enhances RBD binding to ACE2 and abolishes binding of a potent neutralizing antibody (nAb). Cryo-EM also revealed how a cocktail of two nAbs simultaneously bind to all three RBDs, and demonstrated the potency of the nAb cocktail to neutralize different SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus strains, including B.1.1.7.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
13.
J Genet Genomics ; 48(2): 107-114, 2021 02 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316536

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented global societal and economic disruptive impact highlight the urgent need for safe and effective vaccines. Taking substantial advantages of versatility and rapid development, two mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 have completed late-stage clinical assessment at an unprecedented speed and reported positive results. In this review, we outline keynotes in mRNA vaccine development, discuss recently published data on COVID-19 mRNA vaccine candidates, focusing on those in clinical trials and analyze future potential challenges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , RNA, Messenger/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Binding Sites/genetics , Binding Sites/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Drug Development , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology , Viral Proteins/metabolism
14.
SLAS Discov ; 26(9): 1200-1211, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290310

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly brought the healthcare systems worldwide to a breaking point, along with devastating socioeconomic consequences. The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease, uses RNA capping to evade the human immune system. Nonstructural protein (nsp) 14 is one of the 16 nsps in SARS-CoV-2 and catalyzes the methylation of the viral RNA at N7-guanosine in the cap formation process. To discover small-molecule inhibitors of nsp14 methyltransferase (MTase) activity, we developed and employed a radiometric MTase assay to screen a library of 161 in-house synthesized S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) competitive MTase inhibitors and SAM analogs. Among six identified screening hits, SS148 inhibited nsp14 MTase activity with an IC50 value of 70 ± 6 nM and was selective against 20 human protein lysine MTases, indicating significant differences in SAM binding sites. Interestingly, DS0464 with an IC50 value of 1.1 ± 0.2 µM showed a bisubstrate competitive inhibitor mechanism of action. DS0464 was also selective against 28 out of 33 RNA, DNA, and protein MTases. The structure-activity relationship provided by these compounds should guide the optimization of selective bisubstrate nsp14 inhibitors and may provide a path toward a novel class of antivirals against COVID-19, and possibly other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Exoribonucleases/genetics , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Methylation , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication/genetics
15.
Mamm Genome ; 32(5): 389-400, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258196

ABSTRACT

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is a common manifestation of COVID-19 and several cases have been reported in the setting of the high-risk APOL1 genotype (common genetic variants). This increases the likelihood that African American people with the high-risk genotype APOL1 are at increased risk for kidney disease in the COVID-19 environment. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are found in various microRNAs (miRNAs) and target genes change the miRNA activity that leads to different diseases. Evidence has shown that SNPs increase/decrease the effectiveness of the interaction between miRNAs and disease-related target genes. The aim of this study is not only to identify miRSNPs on the APOL1 gene and SNPs in miRNA genes targeting 3'UTR but also to evaluate the effect of these gene variations in kidney patients and their association with SARS-COV-2 infection. In 3'UTR of the APOL1 gene, we detected 96 miRNA binding sites and 35 different SNPs with 10 different online software in the binding sites of the miRNA (in silico). Also we studied gene expression of patients and control samples by using qRT-PCR (in vitro). In silico study, the binding site of miR-6741-3p on APOL1 has two SNPs (rs1288875001, G > C; rs1452517383, A > C) on APOL1 3'UTR, and its genomic sequence is the same nucleotide as rs1288875001. Similarly, two other SNPs (rs1142591, T > A; rs376326225, G > A) were identified in the binding sites of miR-6741-3p at the first position. Here, the miRSNP (rs1288875001) in APOL1 3'UTR and SNP (rs376326225) in the miR-6741-3p genomic sequence are cross-matched in the same binding region. In vitro study, the relative expression levels were calculated by the 2-ΔΔCt method & Mann-Whitney U test. The expression of APOL1 gene was different in chronic kidney patients along with COVID-19. By these results, APOL1 expression was found lower in patients than healthy (p < 0.05) in kidney patients along with COVID-19. In addition, miR-6741-3p targets many APOL1-related genes (TLR7, SLC6A19, IL-6,10,18, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5, SWT1, NFYB, BRF1, HES2, NFYB, MED12L, MAFG, GTF2H5, TRAF3, angiotensin II receptor-associated protein, PRSS23) by evaluating online software in the binding sites of the miR-6741-3p. miR-6741-3p has not previously shown any association with kidney diseases and SARS-COV-2 infection. It assures that APOL1 can have a significant consequence in kidney-associated diseases by different pathways. Henceforth, this study represents and demonstrates an effective association between miR-6741-3p and kidney diseases, i.e., collapsing glomerulopathy, chronic kidney disease (CKD), acute kidney injury (AKI), and tubulointerstitial lesions susceptibility to SARS-COV-2 infection via in silico and in vitro exploration and recommended to have better insight.


Subject(s)
3' Untranslated Regions/genetics , Apolipoprotein L1/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Kidney Diseases/genetics , MicroRNAs/genetics , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , Case-Control Studies , Genotype , Humans , Kidney/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
16.
Cells ; 10(6)2021 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259431

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for COVID-19, depend on virus spike protein binding to host cell receptors to cause infection. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binds primarily to ACE2 on target cells and is then processed by membrane proteases, including TMPRSS2, leading to viral internalisation or fusion with the plasma membrane. It has been suggested, however, that receptors other than ACE2 may be involved in virus binding. We have investigated the interactions of recombinant versions of the spike protein with human epithelial cell lines that express low/very low levels of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in a proxy assay for interaction with host cells. A tagged form of the spike protein containing the S1 and S2 regions bound in a temperature-dependent manner to all cell lines, whereas the S1 region alone and the receptor-binding domain (RBD) interacted only weakly. Spike protein associated with cells independently of ACE2 and TMPRSS2, while RBD required the presence of high levels of ACE2 for interaction. As the spike protein has previously been shown to bind heparin, a soluble glycosaminoglycan, we tested the effects of various heparins on ACE2-independent spike protein interaction with cells. Unfractionated heparin inhibited spike protein interaction with an IC50 value of <0.05 U/mL, whereas two low-molecular-weight heparins were less effective. A mutant form of the spike protein, lacking the arginine-rich putative furin cleavage site, interacted only weakly with cells and had a lower affinity for unfractionated and low-molecular-weight heparin than the wild-type spike protein. This suggests that the furin cleavage site might also be a heparin-binding site and potentially important for interactions with host cells. The glycosaminoglycans heparan sulphate and dermatan sulphate, but not chondroitin sulphate, also inhibited the binding of spike protein, indicating that it might bind to one or both of these glycosaminoglycans on the surface of target cells.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Heparin/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Binding Sites/drug effects , Binding Sites/genetics , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dermatan Sulfate/pharmacology , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/virology , Glycosaminoglycans/pharmacology , HEK293 Cells , HaCaT Cells , Heparitin Sulfate/pharmacology , Humans , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects
17.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256662

ABSTRACT

The high sequence identity of the first SARS-CoV-2 samples collected in December 2019 at Wuhan did not foretell the emergence of novel variants in the United Kingdom, North and South America, India, or South Africa that drive the current waves of the pandemic. The viral spike receptor possesses two surface areas of high mutagenic plasticity: the supersite in its N-terminal domain (NTD) that is recognised by all anti-NTD antibodies and its receptor binding domain (RBD) where 17 residues make contact with the human Ace2 protein (angiotensin I converting enzyme 2) and many neutralising antibodies bind. While NTD mutations appear at first glance very diverse, they converge on the structure of the supersite. The mutations within the RBD, on the other hand, hone in on only a small number of key sites (K417, L452, E484, N501) that are allosteric control points enabling spike to escape neutralising antibodies while maintaining or even gaining Ace2-binding activity. The D614G mutation is the hallmark of all variants, as it promotes viral spread by increasing the number of open spike protomers in the homo-trimeric receptor complex. This review discusses the recent spike mutations as well as their evolution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Genetic Variation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Conformation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
18.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234831

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: little is known about the forecasting of new variants of SARS-COV-2 in North America and the interaction of variants with vaccine-derived neutralizing antibodies. METHODS: the affinity scores of the spike receptor-binding domain (S-RBD) of B.1.1.7, B. 1.351, B.1.617, and P.1 variants in interaction with the neutralizing antibody (CV30 isolated from a patient), and human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) receptor were predicted using the template-based computational modeling. From the Nextstrain global database, we identified prevalent mutations of S-RBD of SARS-CoV-2 from December 2019 to April 2021. Pre- and post-vaccination time series forecasting models were developed based on the prediction of neutralizing antibody affinity scores for S-RBD of the variants. RESULTS: the proportion of the B.1.1.7 variant in North America is growing rapidly, but the rate will reduce due to high affinity (~90%) to the neutralizing antibody once herd immunity is reached. Currently, the rates of isolation of B. 1.351, B.1.617, and P.1 variants are slowly increasing in North America. Herd immunity is able to relatively control these variants due to their low affinity (~70%) to the neutralizing antibody. The S-RBD of B.1.617 has a 110% increased affinity score to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) in comparison to the wild-type structure, making it highly infectious. CONCLUSION: The newly emerged B.1.351, B.1.617, and P.1 variants escape from vaccine-induced neutralizing immunity and continue circulating in North America in post- herd immunity era. Our study strongly suggests that a third dose of vaccine is urgently needed to cover novel variants with affinity scores (equal or less than 70%) to eliminate developing viral mutations and reduce transmission rates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Theoretical , North America/epidemiology , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Domains/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
19.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2843, 2021 05 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228252

ABSTRACT

Although the accessory proteins are considered non-essential for coronavirus replication, accumulating evidences demonstrate they are critical to virus-host interaction and pathogenesis. Orf9b is a unique accessory protein of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV. It is implicated in immune evasion by targeting mitochondria, where it associates with the versatile adapter TOM70. Here, we determined the crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 orf9b in complex with the cytosolic segment of human TOM70 to 2.2 Å. A central portion of orf9b occupies the deep pocket in the TOM70 C-terminal domain (CTD) and adopts a helical conformation strikingly different from the ß-sheet-rich structure of the orf9b homodimer. Interactions between orf9b and TOM70 CTD are primarily hydrophobic and distinct from the electrostatic interaction between the heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) EEVD motif and the TOM70 N-terminal domain (NTD). Using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), we demonstrated that the orf9b dimer does not bind TOM70, but a synthetic peptide harboring a segment of orf9b (denoted C-peptide) binds TOM70 with nanomolar KD. While the interaction between C-peptide and TOM70 CTD is an endothermic process, the interaction between Hsp90 EEVD and TOM70 NTD is exothermic, which underscores the distinct binding mechanisms at NTD and CTD pockets. Strikingly, the binding affinity of Hsp90 EEVD motif to TOM70 NTD is reduced by ~29-fold when orf9b occupies the pocket of TOM70 CTD, supporting the hypothesis that orf9b allosterically inhibits the Hsp90/TOM70 interaction. Our findings shed light on the mechanism underlying SARS-CoV-2 orf9b mediated suppression of interferon responses.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/chemistry , Multiprotein Complexes/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Escherichia coli/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/genetics , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Multiprotein Complexes/metabolism , Multiprotein Complexes/ultrastructure , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
20.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251585, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225814

ABSTRACT

Understanding how human ACE2 genetic variants differ in their recognition by SARS-CoV-2 can facilitate the leveraging of ACE2 as an axis for treating and preventing COVID-19. In this work, we experimentally interrogate thousands of ACE2 mutants to identify over one hundred human single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) that are likely to have altered recognition by the virus, and make the complementary discovery that ACE2 residues distant from the spike interface influence the ACE2-spike interaction. These findings illuminate new links between ACE2 sequence and spike recognition, and could find substantial utility in further fundamental research that augments epidemiological analyses and clinical trial design in the contexts of both existing strains of SARS-CoV-2 and novel variants that may arise in the future.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Genetic Variation/genetics , Humans , Models, Molecular , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , Protein Binding/genetics , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Replication/genetics
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