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1.
J Am Chem Soc ; 143(46): 19306-19310, 2021 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510556

ABSTRACT

The 68-kDa homodimeric 3C-like protease of SARS-CoV-2, Mpro (3CLpro/Nsp5), is a promising antiviral drug target. We evaluate the concordance of models generated by the newly introduced AlphaFold2 structure prediction program with residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) measured in solution for 15N-1HN and 13C'-1HN atom pairs. The latter were measured using a new, highly precise TROSY-AntiTROSY Encoded RDC (TATER) experiment. Three sets of AlphaFold2 models were evaluated: (1) MproAF, generated using the standard AlphaFold2 input structural database; (2) MproAFD, where the AlphaFold2 implementation was modified to exclude all candidate template X-ray structures deposited after Jan 1, 2020; and (3) MproAFS, which excluded all structures homologous to coronaviral Mpro. Close agreement between all three sets of AlphaFold models and experimental RDC data is found for most of the protein. For residues in well-defined secondary structure, the agreement decreases somewhat upon Amber relaxation. For these regions, MproAF agreement exceeds that of most high-resolution X-ray structures. Residues from domain 2 that comprise elements of both the active site and the homo-dimerization interface fit less well across all structures. These results indicate novel opportunities for combining experimentation with molecular dynamics simulations, where solution RDCs provide highly precise input for QM/MM simulations of substrate binding/reaction trajectories.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Crystallography, X-Ray/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 , Catalytic Domain , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , Molecular Conformation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Conformation , Protein Folding , Software , X-Rays
2.
Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun ; 77(Pt 10): 348-355, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450488

ABSTRACT

Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63), which belongs to the genus Alphacoronavirus, mainly infects children and the immunocompromized and is responsible for a series of clinical manifestations, including cough, fever, rhinorrhoea, bronchiolitis and croup. HCoV-NL63, which was first isolated from a seven-month-old child in 2004, has led to infections worldwide and accounts for 10% of all respiratory illnesses caused by etiological agents. However, effective antivirals against HCoV-NL63 infection are currently unavailable. The HCoV-NL63 main protease (Mpro), also called 3C-like protease (3CLpro), plays a vital role in mediating viral replication and transcription by catalyzing the cleavage of replicase polyproteins (pp1a and pp1ab) into functional subunits. Moreover, Mpro is highly conserved among all coronaviruses, thus making it a prominent drug target for antiviral therapy. Here, four crystal structures of HCoV-NL63 Mpro in the apo form at different pH values are reported at resolutions of up to 1.78 Å. Comparison with Mpro from other human betacoronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV reveals common and distinct structural features in different genera and extends knowledge of the diversity, function and evolution of coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus NL63, Human/chemistry , Crystallization/methods , Crystallography, X-Ray/methods , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Protein Conformation
3.
Gene ; 808: 145963, 2022 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415409

ABSTRACT

As of July 2021, the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, has led to more than 200 million infections and more than 4.2 million deaths globally. Complications of severe COVID-19 include acute kidney injury, liver dysfunction, cardiomyopathy, and coagulation dysfunction. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify proteins and genetic factors associated with COVID-19 susceptibility and outcome. We comprehensively reviewed recent findings of host-SARS-CoV-2 interactome analyses. To identify genetic variants associated with COVID-19, we focused on the findings from genome and transcriptome wide association studies (GWAS and TWAS) and bioinformatics analysis. We described established human proteins including ACE2, TMPRSS2, 40S ribosomal subunit, ApoA1, TOM70, HLA-A, and PALS1 interacting with SARS-CoV-2 based on cryo-electron microscopy results. Furthermore, we described approximately 1000 human proteins showing evidence of interaction with SARS-CoV-2 and highlighted host cellular processes such as innate immune pathways affected by infection. We summarized the evidence on more than 20 identified candidate genes in COVID-19 severity. Predicted deleterious and disruptive genetic variants with possible effects on COVID-19 infectivity have been also summarized. These findings provide novel insights into SARS-CoV-2 biology and infection as well as potential strategies for development of novel COVID therapeutic targets and drug repurposing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Computational Biology/methods , Cryoelectron Microscopy/methods , Crystallography, X-Ray/methods , Genome-Wide Association Study , Host Microbial Interactions/physiology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
4.
Molecules ; 26(14)2021 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389470

ABSTRACT

A tripodal Schiff base ligand, 2,4,6-Tris(4-carboxybenzimino)-1,3,5-triazine (MT) and its trinuclear Dy(III), Er(III), and Gd(III) complexes were synthesized. These were characterized using UV-visible, IR, 1H, and 13C NMR spectroscopies, elemental analysis, and molar conductivity measurements. The spectral studies indicate that the ligand is hexadentate and coordinates to the Ln(III) ions through the oxygen atoms of the carboxylic group. The trinuclear complexes were characterized as being bridged by carboxylate anions to the Dy(III), Er(III), and Gd(III) salen centers and displaying a coordination number of six. Biological studies revealed that MT is more active against the test micro-organisms relative to the trinuclear complexes. Acute toxicity studies revealed that MT is safe and has a wide range of effective doses (ED50). In vivo antimalarial studies indicate that MT could serve as an effective antimalarial agent since it has parasitemia inhibition of 84.02% at 50 mg/kg and 65.81% at 25 mg/kg, close to the value (87.22%) of the standard drug-Artesunate. Molecular docking simulation studies on the compounds against SARS-CoV-2 (6Y84) and E. coli DNA gyrase (5MMN) revealed effective binding interactions through multiple bonding modes. The binding energy calculated for Er(III)MT-6Y84 and Er(III)MT-5MMN complexes showed active molecules with the ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 and E. coli DNA gyrase.


Subject(s)
Triazines/chemistry , Triazines/pharmacology , Anions/chemistry , Carboxylic Acids/chemistry , Computer Simulation , Coordination Complexes/chemistry , Crystallography, X-Ray/methods , Dysprosium/chemistry , Erbium/chemistry , Gadolinium/chemistry , Lanthanoid Series Elements/chemistry , Ligands , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy/methods , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Structure , Schiff Bases/chemistry , Triazines/chemical synthesis
5.
J Mol Biol ; 433(18): 167118, 2021 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303602

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of COVID-19. The dimeric form of the viral Mpro is responsible for the cleavage of the viral polyprotein in 11 sites, including its own N and C-terminus. The lack of structural information for intermediary forms of Mpro is a setback for the understanding its self-maturation process. Herein, we used X-ray crystallography combined with biochemical data to characterize multiple forms of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. For the immature form, we show that extra N-terminal residues caused conformational changes in the positioning of domain-three over the active site, hampering the dimerization and diminishing its activity. We propose that this form preludes the cis and trans-cleavage of N-terminal residues. Using fragment screening, we probe new cavities in this form which can be used to guide therapeutic development. Furthermore, we characterized a serine site-directed mutant of the Mpro bound to its endogenous N and C-terminal residues during dimeric association stage of the maturation process. We suggest this form is a transitional state during the C-terminal trans-cleavage. This data sheds light in the structural modifications of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease during its self-maturation process.


Subject(s)
Peptide Hydrolases/chemistry , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Catalytic Domain/physiology , Crystallography, X-Ray/methods , Dimerization , Humans
6.
J Vis Exp ; (171)2021 05 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268367

ABSTRACT

In fragment-based drug discovery, hundreds or often thousands of compounds smaller than ~300 Da are tested against the protein of interest to identify chemical entities that can be developed into potent drug candidates. Since the compounds are small, interactions are weak, and the screening method must therefore be highly sensitive; moreover, structural information tends to be crucial for elaborating these hits into lead-like compounds. Therefore, protein crystallography has always been a gold-standard technique, yet historically too challenging to find widespread use as a primary screen. Initial XChem experiments were demonstrated in 2014 and then trialed with academic and industrial collaborators to validate the process. Since then, a large research effort and significant beamtime have streamlined sample preparation, developed a fragment library with rapid follow-up possibilities, automated and improved the capability of I04-1 beamline for unattended data collection, and implemented new tools for data management, analysis and hit identification. XChem is now a facility for large-scale crystallographic fragment screening, supporting the entire crystals-to-deposition process, and accessible to academic and industrial users worldwide. The peer-reviewed academic user program has been actively developed since 2016, to accommodate projects from as broad a scientific scope as possible, including well-validated as well as exploratory projects. Academic access is allocated through biannual calls for peer-reviewed proposals, and proprietary work is arranged by Diamond's Industrial Liaison group. This workflow has already been routinely applied to over a hundred targets from diverse therapeutic areas, and effectively identifies weak binders (1%-30% hit rate), which both serve as high-quality starting points for compound design and provide extensive structural information on binding sites. The resilience of the process was demonstrated by continued screening of SARS-CoV-2 targets during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a 3-week turn-around for the main protease.


Subject(s)
Crystallography, X-Ray/methods , Drug Discovery/methods , Proteins/chemistry , Humans
7.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 23(12): 7261-7270, 2021 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180284

ABSTRACT

Interactions between proteins and small molecules play important roles in the inhibition of protein function. However, a lack of proper knowledge about non-covalent interactions can act as a barrier towards gaining a complete understanding of the factors that control these associations. To find effective molecules for COVID-19 inhibition, we have quantitatively investigated 143 X-ray crystal structures of the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro protein of coronavirus with covalently or non-covalently bound small molecules (SMs). Our present study is able to explain ordinary and perceptive aspects relating to protein inhibition. The active site of the protein consists of 21 amino acid residues, but only nine are actively involved in the ligand binding process. The H41, M49, and C145 residues have highest priority with respect to interactions with small molecules through hydrogen bond, CH-π, and van der Waals interactions. At the active site, this ranking of amino acids is clear, based on different spatial orientations of ligands, and consistent with the electronic properties. SMs with aromatic moieties that bind to the active site of the protein play a distinct role in the determination of the following order of interaction frequency with the amino acids: CH-π > H-bonding > polar interactions. This present study revealed that the G143 and C145 residues play crucial roles in the recognition of the carbonyl functionality of SMs through hydrogen bonding. With this knowledge in mind, an effective inhibitor small-molecule for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro was designed: docking studies showed that the designed molecule has strong binding affinity towards the protein. The non-covalent interactions in the protein-ligand complex are in good agreement with the results obtained from X-ray crystallography. Moreover, the present study focused on weak forces and their influence on protein inhibition, henceforth shedding much light on the essential requirements for moieties that should be present in a good inhibitor and their orientations at the ligand binding site.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Crystallography, X-Ray/methods , Drug Design , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Amino Acids/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , Drug Interactions , Ligands , Molecular Structure
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