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Molecules ; 26(6)2021 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154456


Bats are unique in their potential to serve as reservoir hosts for intracellular pathogens. Recently, the impact of COVID-19 has relegated bats from biomedical darkness to the frontline of public health as bats are the natural reservoir of many viruses, including SARS-Cov-2. Many bat genomes have been sequenced recently, and sequences coding for antimicrobial peptides are available in the public databases. Here we provide a structural analysis of genome-predicted bat cathelicidins as components of their innate immunity. A total of 32 unique protein sequences were retrieved from the NCBI database. Interestingly, some bat species contained more than one cathelicidin. We examined the conserved cysteines within the cathelin-like domain and the peptide portion of each sequence and revealed phylogenetic relationships and structural dissimilarities. The antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity of peptides was examined using bioinformatic tools. The peptides were modeled and subjected to docking analysis with the region binding domain (RBD) region of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. The appearance of multiple forms of cathelicidins verifies the complex microbial challenges encountered by these species. Learning more about antiviral defenses of bats and how they drive virus evolution will help scientists to investigate the function of antimicrobial peptides in these species.

Cathelicidins/chemistry , Cathelicidins/pharmacology , Chiroptera/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/chemistry , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Antifungal Agents/chemistry , Antifungal Agents/pharmacology , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Cathelicidins/genetics , Cathelicidins/metabolism , Computational Biology/methods , Computer Simulation , Genome , Molecular Docking Simulation , Phylogeny