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Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(D1): D497-D508, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2232151


Almost twenty years after its initial release, the Eukaryotic Linear Motif (ELM) resource remains an invaluable source of information for the study of motif-mediated protein-protein interactions. ELM provides a comprehensive, regularly updated and well-organised repository of manually curated, experimentally validated short linear motifs (SLiMs). An increasing number of SLiM-mediated interactions are discovered each year and keeping the resource up-to-date continues to be a great challenge. In the current update, 30 novel motif classes have been added and five existing classes have undergone major revisions. The update includes 411 new motif instances mostly focused on cell-cycle regulation, control of the actin cytoskeleton, membrane remodelling and vesicle trafficking pathways, liquid-liquid phase separation and integrin signalling. Many of the newly annotated motif-mediated interactions are targets of pathogenic motif mimicry by viral, bacterial or eukaryotic pathogens, providing invaluable insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying infectious diseases. The current ELM release includes 317 motif classes incorporating 3934 individual motif instances manually curated from 3867 scientific publications. ELM is available at:

Communicable Diseases/genetics , Databases, Protein , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Software , Actin Cytoskeleton/chemistry , Actin Cytoskeleton/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , Cell Cycle/genetics , Cell Membrane/chemistry , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Communicable Diseases/metabolism , Communicable Diseases/virology , Cyclins/chemistry , Cyclins/genetics , Cyclins/metabolism , Eukaryotic Cells/cytology , Eukaryotic Cells/metabolism , Eukaryotic Cells/virology , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Integrins/chemistry , Integrins/genetics , Integrins/metabolism , Mice , Molecular Sequence Annotation , Protein Binding , Rats , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/genetics , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Transport Vesicles/chemistry , Transport Vesicles/metabolism , Viruses/genetics , Viruses/metabolism
Sci Signal ; 14(665)2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1029425


The first reported receptor for SARS-CoV-2 on host cells was the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). However, the viral spike protein also has an RGD motif, suggesting that cell surface integrins may be co-receptors. We examined the sequences of ACE2 and integrins with the Eukaryotic Linear Motif (ELM) resource and identified candidate short linear motifs (SLiMs) in their short, unstructured, cytosolic tails with potential roles in endocytosis, membrane dynamics, autophagy, cytoskeleton, and cell signaling. These SLiM candidates are highly conserved in vertebrates and may interact with the µ2 subunit of the endocytosis-associated AP2 adaptor complex, as well as with various protein domains (namely, I-BAR, LC3, PDZ, PTB, and SH2) found in human signaling and regulatory proteins. Several motifs overlap in the tail sequences, suggesting that they may act as molecular switches, such as in response to tyrosine phosphorylation status. Candidate LC3-interacting region (LIR) motifs are present in the tails of integrin ß3 and ACE2, suggesting that these proteins could directly recruit autophagy components. Our findings identify several molecular links and testable hypotheses that could uncover mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 attachment, entry, and replication against which it may be possible to develop host-directed therapies that dampen viral infection and disease progression. Several of these SLiMs have now been validated to mediate the predicted peptide interactions.

COVID-19/virology , Host Microbial Interactions/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Internalization , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/therapy , Conserved Sequence , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Humans , Integrins/chemistry , Integrins/genetics , Integrins/physiology , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/chemistry , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/genetics , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/physiology , Models, Biological , Models, Molecular , Oligopeptides/chemistry , Oligopeptides/genetics , Oligopeptides/physiology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/physiology , Protein Sorting Signals/genetics , Protein Sorting Signals/physiology , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology
Immunobiology ; 226(1): 152021, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-908903


SARS-CoV-2 is a highly contagious virus that has caused serious health crisis world-wide resulting into a pandemic situation. As per the literature, the SARS-CoV-2 is known to exploit humanACE2 receptors (similar toprevious SARS-CoV-1) for gaining entry into the host cell for invasion, infection, multiplication and pathogenesis. However, considering the higher infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 along with the complex etiology and pathophysiological outcomes seen in COVID-19 patients, it seems that there may be an alternate receptor for SARS-CoV-2. I performed comparative protein sequence analysis, database based gene expression profiling, bioinformatics based molecular docking using authentic tools and techniques for unveiling the molecular basis of high infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 as compared to previous known coronaviruses. My study revealed that SARS-CoV-2 (previously known as 2019-nCoV) harbors a RGD motif in its receptor binding domain (RBD) and the motif is absent in all other previously known SARS-CoVs. The RGD motif is well known for its role in cell-attachment and cell-adhesion. My hypothesis is that the SARS-CoV-2 may be (via RGD) exploiting integrins, that have high expression in lungs and all other vital organs, for invading host cells. However, an experimental verification is required. The expression of ACE2, which is a known receptor for SARS-CoV-2, was found to be negligible in lungs. I assume that higher infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 could be due to this RGD-integrin mediated acquired cell-adhesive property. Gene expression profiling revealed that expression of integrins is significantly high in lung cells, in particular αvß6, α5ß1, αvß8 and an ECM protein, ICAM1. The molecular docking experiment showed the RBD of spike protein binds with integrins precisely at RGD motif in a similar manner as a synthetic RGD peptide binds to integrins as found by other researchers. SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has a number of phosphorylation sites that can induce cAMP, PKC, Tyr signaling pathways. These pathways either activate calcium ion channels or get activated by calcium. In fact, integrins have calcium & metal binding sites that were predicted around and in vicinity of RGD-integrin docking site in our analysis which suggests that RGD-integrins interaction possibly occurs in calcium-dependent manner. The higher expression of integrins in lungs along with their previously known high binding affinity (~KD = 4.0 nM) for virus RGD motif could serve as a possible explanation for high infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. On the contrary, human ACE2 has lower expression in lungs and its high binding affinity (~KD = 15 nM) for spike RBD alone could not manifest significant virus-host attachment. This suggests that besides human ACE2, an additional or alternate receptor for SARS-CoV-2 is likely to exist. A highly relevant evidence never reported earlier which corroborate in favor of RGD-integrins mediated virus-host attachment is an unleashed cytokine storm which causes due to activation of TNF-α and IL-6 activation; and integrins role in their activation is also well established. Altogether, the current study has highlighted possible role of calcium and other divalent ions in RGD-integrins interaction for virus invasion into host cells and suggested that lowering divalent ion in lungs could avert virus-host cells attachment.

COVID-19/virology , Calcium/metabolism , Chelation Therapy , Edetic Acid/therapeutic use , Integrins/metabolism , Receptors, Immunologic/metabolism , Receptors, Peptide/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites/genetics , Calcium Channels/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Integrins/chemistry , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Oligopeptides/chemistry , Oligopeptides/metabolism , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sequence Alignment , Signal Transduction/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , Virus Attachment , COVID-19 Drug Treatment