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1.
ACS Infect Dis ; 8(3): 422-432, 2022 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700459

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, millions of patients have been diagnosed and many of them have died from the disease worldwide. The identification of novel therapeutic targets are of utmost significance for prevention and treatment of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus with a 30 kb genome packaged into a membrane-enveloped virion, transcribing several tens of proteins. The belief that the amino acid sequence of proteins determines their 3D structure which, in turn, determines their function has been a central principle of molecular biology for a long time. Recently, it has been increasingly realized, however, that there is a large group of proteins that lack a fixed or ordered 3D structure, yet they exhibit important biological activities─so-called intrinsically disordered proteins and protein regions (IDPs/IDRs). Disordered regions in viral proteins are generally associated with viral infectivity and pathogenicity because they endow the viral proteins the ability to easily and promiscuously bind to host proteins; therefore, the proteome of SARS-CoV-2 has been thoroughly examined for intrinsic disorder. It has been recognized that, in fact, the SARS-CoV-2 proteome exhibits significant levels of structural order, with only the nucleocapsid (N) structural protein and two of the nonstructural proteins being highly disordered. The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 exhibits significant levels of structural order, yet its predicted percentage of intrinsic disorder is still higher than that of the spike protein of SARS-CoV. Noteworthy, however, even though IDPs/IDRs are not common in the SARS-CoV-2 proteome, the existing ones play major roles in the functioning and virulence of the virus and are thus promising drug targets for rational antiviral drug design. Presented here is a COVID-19 perspective on the intrinsically disordered proteins, summarizing recent results on the SARS-CoV-2 proteome disorder features, their physiological and pathological relevance, and their prominence as prospective drug target sites.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Discovery , Humans , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/chemistry , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/genetics , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/metabolism , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551632

ABSTRACT

Most viruses have small genomes that encode proteins needed to perform essential enzymatic functions. Across virus families, primary enzyme functions are under functional constraint; however, secondary functions mediated by exposed protein surfaces that promote interactions with the host proteins may be less constrained. Viruses often form transient interactions with host proteins through conformationally flexible interfaces. Exposed flexible amino acid residues are known to evolve rapidly suggesting that secondary functions may generate diverse interaction potentials between viruses within the same viral family. One mechanism of interaction is viral mimicry through short linear motifs (SLiMs) that act as functional signatures in host proteins. Viral SLiMs display specific patterns of adjacent amino acids that resemble their host SLiMs and may occur by chance numerous times in viral proteins due to mutational and selective processes. Through mimicry of SLiMs in the host cell proteome, viruses can interfere with the protein interaction network of the host and utilize the host-cell machinery to their benefit. The overlap between rapidly evolving protein regions and the location of functionally critical SLiMs suggest that these motifs and their functional potential may be rapidly rewired causing variation in pathogenicity, infectivity, and virulence of related viruses. The following review provides an overview of known viral SLiMs with select examples of their role in the life cycle of a virus, and a discussion of the structural properties of experimentally validated SLiMs highlighting that a large portion of known viral SLiMs are devoid of predicted intrinsic disorder based on the viral SLiMs from the ELM database.


Subject(s)
Host-Pathogen Interactions , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Motifs , Databases, Protein , Humans , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/genetics , Protein Interaction Maps , Proteome , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viruses/genetics
3.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 188: 391-403, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347646

ABSTRACT

One of the main structural proteins of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the nucleocapsid protein (N). The basic function of this protein is to bind genomic RNA and to form a protective nucleocapsid in the mature virion. The intrinsic ability of the N protein to interact with nucleic acids makes its purification very challenging. Therefore, typically employed purification methods appear to be insufficient for removing nucleic acid contamination. In this study, we present a novel purification protocol that enables the N protein to be prepared without any bound nucleic acids. We also performed comparative structural analysis of the N protein contaminated with nucleic acids and free of contamination and showed significant differences in the structural and phase separation properties of the protein. These results indicate that nucleic-acid contamination may severely affect molecular properties of the purified N protein. In addition, the notable ability of the N protein to form condensates whose morphology and behaviour suggest more ordered forms resembling gel-like or solid structures is described.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Liquid-Liquid Extraction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/chemistry , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/isolation & purification , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/metabolism , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , Nucleic Acids/metabolism , Protein Aggregates , Protein Structure, Quaternary , Protein Structure, Secondary
4.
Proteins ; 89(9): 1158-1166, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296890

ABSTRACT

The 2019-novel coronavirus also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a common threat to animals and humans, and is responsible for the human SARS pandemic in 2019 to 2021. The infection of SARS-CoV-2 in humans involves a viral surface glycoprotein named as spike proteins, which bind to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) proteins. Particularly, the receptor binding domains (RBDs) mediate the interaction and contain several disordered regions, which help in the binding. Investigations on the influence of disordered residues/regions in stability and binding of spike protein with ACE2 help to understand the disease pathogenesis, which has not yet been studied. In this study, we have used molecular-dynamics simulations to characterize the structural changes in disordered regions of the spike protein that result from ACE2 binding. We observed that the disordered regions undergo disorder-to-order transition (DOT) upon binding with ACE2, and the DOT residues are located at functionally important regions of RBD. Although the RBD is having rigid structure, DOT residues make conformational rearrangements for the spike protein to attach with ACE2. The binding is strengthened via hydrophilic and aromatic amino acids mainly present in the DOTs. The positively correlated motions of the DOT residues with its nearby residues also explain the binding profile of RBD with ACE2, and the residues are observed to be contributing more favorable binding energies for the spike-ACE2 complex formation. This study emphasizes that intrinsically disordered residues in the RBD of spike protein may provide insights into its etiology and be useful for drug and vaccine discovery.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/chemistry , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pliability , Protein Binding , Static Electricity
5.
J Proteome Res ; 19(11): 4355-4363, 2020 11 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-960289

ABSTRACT

A model that predicts levels of coronavirus (CoV) respiratory and fecal-oral transmission potentials based on the shell disorder has been built using neural network (artificial intelligence, AI) analysis of the percentage of disorder (PID) in the nucleocapsid, N, and membrane, M, proteins of the inner and outer viral shells, respectively. Using primarily the PID of N, SARS-CoV-2 is grouped as having intermediate levels of both respiratory and fecal-oral transmission potentials. Related studies, using similar methodologies, have found strong positive correlations between virulence and inner shell disorder among numerous viruses, including Nipah, Ebola, and Dengue viruses. There is some evidence that this is also true for SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, which have N PIDs of 48% and 50%, and case-fatality rates of 0.5-5% and 10.9%, respectively. The underlying relationship between virulence and respiratory potentials has to do with the viral loads of vital organs and body fluids, respectively. Viruses can spread by respiratory means only if the viral loads in saliva and mucus exceed certain minima. Similarly, a patient is likelier to die when the viral load overwhelms vital organs. Greater disorder in inner shell proteins has been known to play important roles in the rapid replication of viruses by enhancing the efficiency pertaining to protein-protein/DNA/RNA/lipid bindings. This paper suggests a novel strategy in attenuating viruses involving comparison of disorder patterns of inner shells (N) of related viruses to identify residues and regions that could be ideal for mutation. The M protein of SARS-CoV-2 has one of the lowest M PID values (6%) in its family, and therefore, this virus has one of the hardest outer shells, which makes it resistant to antimicrobial enzymes in body fluid. While this is likely responsible for its greater contagiousness, the risks of creating an attenuated virus with a more disordered M are discussed.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Viral Vaccines , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Drug Development/methods , Humans , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/chemistry , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/genetics , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/metabolism , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism
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