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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 222, 2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621242

ABSTRACT

As the global burden of SARS-CoV-2 infections escalates, so does the evolution of viral variants with increased transmissibility and pathology. In addition to this entrenched diversity, RNA viruses can also display genetic diversity within single infected hosts with co-existing viral variants evolving differently in distinct cell types. The BriSΔ variant, originally identified as a viral subpopulation from SARS-CoV-2 isolate hCoV-19/England/02/2020, comprises in the spike an eight amino-acid deletion encompassing a furin recognition motif and S1/S2 cleavage site. We elucidate the structure, function and molecular dynamics of this spike providing mechanistic insight into how the deletion correlates to viral cell tropism, ACE2 receptor binding and infectivity of this SARS-CoV-2 variant. Our results reveal long-range allosteric communication between functional domains that differ in the wild-type and the deletion variant and support a view of SARS-CoV-2 probing multiple evolutionary trajectories in distinct cell types within the same infected host.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Evolution, Molecular , Furin/metabolism , Humans , Linoleic Acid/metabolism , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Tropism , Virus Internalization
2.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 14(1): 191-200, 2022 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616941

ABSTRACT

At present, the most powerful new drugs for COVID-19 are antibody proteins. In addition, there are some star small molecule drugs. However, there are few studies on nanomaterials. Here, we study the intact graphene (IG), defective graphene (DG), and graphene oxide (GO) interacting with COVID-19 protein. We find that they show progressive inhibition of COVID-19 protein. By using molecular dynamics simulations, we study the interactions between SARS-CoV-2 3CL Mpro and graphene-related materials (GRMs): IG, DG, and GO. The results show that Mpro can be absorbed onto the surfaces of investigated materials. DG and GO interacted with Mpro more intensely, causing the decisive part of Mpro to become more flexible. Further analysis shows that compared to IG and GO, DG can inactivate Mpro and inhibit its expression effectively by destroying the active pocket of Mpro. Our work not only provides detailed and reliable theoretical guidance for the application of GRMs in treating with SARS-CoV-2 but also helps in developing new graphene-based anti-COVID-19 materials.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Graphite/chemistry , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adsorption , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Graphite/metabolism , Humans , Ligands , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(1)2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613825

ABSTRACT

(1R,5S)-1-Hydroxy-3,6-dioxa-bicyclo[3.2.1]octan-2-one, available by an efficient catalytic pyrolysis of cellulose, has been applied as a chiral building block in the synthesis of seven new nucleoside analogues, with structural modifications on the nucleobase moiety and on the carboxyl- derived unit. The inverted configuration by Mitsunobu reaction used in their synthesis was verified by 2D-NOESY correlations, supported by the optimized structure employing the DFT methods. An in silico screening of these compounds as inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase has been carried out in comparison with both remdesivir, a mono-phosphoramidate prodrug recently approved for COVID-19 treatment, and its ribonucleoside metabolite GS-441524. Drug-likeness prediction and data by docking calculation indicated compound 6 [=(3S,5S)-methyl 5-(hydroxymethyl)-3-(6-(4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)-9H-purin-9-yl)tetrahydrofuran-3-carboxylate] as the best candidate. Furthermore, molecular dynamics simulation showed a stable interaction of structure 6 in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) complex and a lower average atomic fluctuation than GS-441524, suggesting a well accommodation in the RdRp binding pocket.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Cellulose/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Nucleosides/chemical synthesis , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine/chemistry , Adenosine/pharmacokinetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacokinetics , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Computational Biology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Nucleosides/chemistry , Nucleosides/pharmacokinetics , Pyrolysis , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
4.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 1421, 2022 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612213

ABSTRACT

As the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) pandemic continues to spread, several variants of the virus, with mutations distributed all over the viral genome, are emerging. While most of the variants present mutations having little to no effects at the phenotypic level, some of these variants are spreading at a rate that suggests they may present a selective advantage. In particular, these rapidly spreading variants present specific mutations on the spike protein. These observations call for an urgent need to characterize the effects of these variants' mutations on phenotype features like contagiousness and antigenicity. With this aim, we performed molecular dynamics simulations on a selected set of possible spike variants in order to assess the stabilizing effect of particular amino acid substitutions on the molecular complex. We specifically focused on the mutations that are both characteristic of the top three most worrying variants at the moment, i.e the English, South African, and Amazonian ones, and that occur at the molecular interface between SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its human ACE2 receptor. We characterize these variants' effect in terms of (i) residue mobility, (ii) compactness, studying the network of interactions at the interface, and (iii) variation of shape complementarity via expanding the molecular surfaces in the Zernike basis. Overall, our analyses highlighted greater stability of the three variant complexes with respect to both the wild type and two negative control systems, especially for the English and Amazonian variants. In addition, in the three variants, we investigate the effects a not-yet observed mutation in position 501 could provoke on complex stability. We found that a phenylalanine mutation behaves similarly to the English variant and may cooperate in further increasing the stability of the South African one, hinting at the need for careful surveillance for the emergence of these mutations in the population. Ultimately, we show that the proposed observables describe key features for the stability of the ACE2-spike complex and can help to monitor further possible spike variants.


Subject(s)
Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding
5.
Biophys J ; 120(14): 2793-2804, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607417

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic has infected millions of people, claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, and made a worldwide health emergency. Understanding the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mechanism of infection is crucial in the development of potential therapeutics and vaccines. The infection process is triggered by direct binding of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) to the host-cell receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Many efforts have been made to design or repurpose therapeutics to deactivate the RBD or ACE2 and prevent the initial binding. In addition to direct inhibition strategies, small chemical compounds might be able to interfere and destabilize the metastable, prefusion complex of ACE2-RBD. This approach can be employed to prevent the further progress of virus infection at its early stages. In this study, molecular docking was employed to analyze the binding of two chemical compounds, SSAA09E2 and Nilotinib, with the druggable pocket of the ACE2-RBD complex. The structural changes as a result of the interference with the ACE2-RBD complex were analyzed by molecular dynamics simulations. Results show that both Nilotinib and SSAA09E2 can induce significant conformational changes in the ACE2-RBD complex, intervene with the hydrogen bonds, and influence the flexibility of proteins. Moreover, essential dynamics analysis suggests that the presence of small molecules can trigger large-scale conformational changes that may destabilize the ACE2-RBD complex.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
Elife ; 102021 12 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592091

ABSTRACT

Infection and viral entry of SARS-CoV-2 crucially depends on the binding of its Spike protein to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) presented on host cells. Glycosylation of both proteins is critical for this interaction. Recombinant soluble human ACE2 can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 and is currently undergoing clinical tests for the treatment of COVID-19. We used 3D structural models and molecular dynamics simulations to define the ACE2 N-glycans that critically influence Spike-ACE2 complex formation. Engineering of ACE2 N-glycosylation by site-directed mutagenesis or glycosidase treatment resulted in enhanced binding affinities and improved virus neutralization without notable deleterious effects on the structural stability and catalytic activity of the protein. Importantly, simultaneous removal of all accessible N-glycans from recombinant soluble human ACE2 yields a superior SARS-CoV-2 decoy receptor with promise as effective treatment for COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Glycosylation , Humans , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Engineering , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virus Internalization
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580844

ABSTRACT

The perennial emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and its new variants causing upper respiratory complexities since December 2019 has aggravated the pandemic situation around the world. SARS-CoV-2 encodes several proteins among which ORF8 is a novel factor that is unique to SARS-CoV-2 only and is reported to help the virus in disease severity and immune evasion. ORF8-IRF3 complex induces endoplasmic reticulum stress, thus helps in the evasion of immune response. Consequently, targeting the ORF8-IRF3 complex is considered as a prime target for the discovery of novel drugs against SARS-CoV-2. In this regard, computational methods are of great interest to fast track the identification and development of novel drugs. Virtual screening of South African Natural Compounds Database (SANCDB), followed by docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation analysis, were performed to determine novel natural compounds. Computational molecular search and rescoring of the SANCDB database followed by induced-fit docking (IFD) protocol identified Quercetin 3-O-(6″-galloyl)-beta-D-galactopyranoside (SANC00850), Tribuloside (SANC01050), and Rutin (SANC00867) are the best scoring compounds. Structural-dynamic properties assessment revealed that these three compounds have stable dynamics, compactness, and a higher number of hydrogen bonds. For validation, we used MM/GBSA, in silico bioactivity estimation and dissociation constant (KD) approaches, which revealed that these compounds are the more potent inhibitors of the ORF8-IRF3 complex and would rescue the host immune system potentially. These compounds need further in vitro and in vivo validations to be used as therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 to rescue the host immune system during COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Biological Products , COVID-19 , Antigen-Antibody Complex , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immune System , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3 , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(1)2021 Dec 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580696

ABSTRACT

The inhibition of key enzymes that may contain the viral replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have assumed central importance in drug discovery projects. Nonstructural proteins (nsps) are essential for RNA capping and coronavirus replication since it protects the virus from host innate immune restriction. In particular, nonstructural protein 16 (nsp16) in complex with nsp10 is a Cap-0 binding enzyme. The heterodimer formed by nsp16-nsp10 methylates the 5'-end of virally encoded mRNAs to mimic cellular mRNAs and thus it is one of the enzymes that is a potential target for antiviral therapy. In this study, we have evaluated the mechanism of the 2'-O methylation of the viral mRNA cap using hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach. It was found that the calculated free energy barriers obtained at M062X/6-31+G(d,p) is in agreement with experimental observations. Overall, we provide a detailed molecular analysis of the catalytic mechanism involving the 2'-O methylation of the viral mRNA cap and, as expected, the results demonstrate that the TS stabilization is critical for the catalysis.


Subject(s)
Methyltransferases/metabolism , RNA Caps/chemistry , RNA Caps/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Biocatalysis , Biomechanical Phenomena , Methylation , Methyltransferases/chemistry , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Quantum Theory , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry
9.
Molecules ; 27(1)2022 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580563

ABSTRACT

Before entering the cell, the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein receptor-binding domain (RBD) binds to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) receptor. Hence, this RBD is a critical target for the development of antiviral agents. Recent studies have discovered that SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutations in the RBD have spread globally. The purpose of this in silico study was to determine the potential of a fruit bromelain-derived peptide. DYGAVNEVK. to inhibit the entry of various SARS-CoV-2 variants into human cells by targeting the hACE binding site within the RBD. Molecular docking analysis revealed that DYGAVNEVK interacts with several critical RBD binding residues responsible for the adhesion of the RBD to hACE2. Moreover, 100 ns MD simulations revealed stable interactions between DYGAVNEVK and RBD variants derived from the trajectory of root-mean-square deviation (RMSD), radius of gyration (Rg), and root-mean-square fluctuation (RMSF) analysis, as well as free binding energy calculations. Overall, our computational results indicate that DYGAVNEVK warrants further investigation as a candidate for preventing SARS-CoV-2 due to its interaction with the RBD of SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Bromelains , Computer Simulation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Bromelains/chemistry , Bromelains/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Models, Molecular , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/pharmacology , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
10.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 197: 68-76, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587673

ABSTRACT

The C-terminal domain of SARS-CoV main protease (Mpro-C) can form 3D domain-swapped dimer by exchanging the α1-helices fully buried inside the protein hydrophobic core, under non-denaturing conditions. Here, we report that Mpro-C can also form amyloid fibrils under the 3D domain-swappable conditions in vitro, and the fibrils are not formed through runaway/propagated domain swapping. It is found that there are positive correlations between the rates of domain swapping dimerization and amyloid fibrillation at different temperatures, and for different mutants. However, some Mpro-C mutants incapable of 3D domain swapping can still form amyloid fibrils, indicating that 3D domain swapping is not essential for amyloid fibrillation. Furthermore, NMR H/D exchange data and molecular dynamics simulation results suggest that the protofibril core region tends to unpack at the early stage of 3D domain swapping, so that the amyloid fibrillation can proceed during the 3D domain swapping process. We propose that 3D domain swapping makes it possible for the unpacking of the amyloidogenic fragment of the protein and thus accelerates the amyloid fibrillation process kinetically, which explains the well-documented correlations between amyloid fibrillation and 3D domain swapping observed in many proteins.


Subject(s)
Amyloid/chemistry , Amyloid/metabolism , Amyloidosis/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Protein Domains/physiology , Amyloidosis/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Dimerization , Disulfides/chemistry , Disulfides/metabolism , Kinetics , Models, Molecular , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Polymerization , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Folding , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Temperature
11.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 12(51): 12249-12255, 2021 Dec 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586057

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses pose major threats to global health, yet computational efforts to understand them have largely overlooked the process of budding, a key part of the coronavirus life cycle. When expressed together, coronavirus M and E proteins are sufficient to facilitate budding into the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC). To help elucidate budding, we ran atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations using the Feig laboratory's refined structural models of the SARS-CoV-2 M protein dimer and E protein pentamer. Our MD simulations consisted of M protein dimers and E protein pentamers in patches of membrane. By examining where these proteins induced membrane curvature in silico, we obtained insights around how the budding process may occur. Multiple M protein dimers acted together to induce global membrane curvature through protein-lipid interactions while E protein pentamers kept the membrane planar. These results could eventually help guide development of antiviral therapeutics that inhibit coronavirus budding.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Endoplasmic Reticulum/metabolism , Golgi Apparatus/metabolism , Humans , Protein Multimerization , Protein Transport , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry
12.
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; 39(14): 5033-5047, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574027

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has ravaged the world and is the greatest of pandemics in human history, in the absence of treatment or vaccine the mortality and morbidity rates are very high. The present investigation was undertaken to screen and identify the potent leads from the Indian Ayurvedic herb, Asparagus racemosus (Willd.) against SARS-CoV-2 using molecular docking and dynamics studies. The docking analysis was performed on the Glide module of Schrödinger suite on two different proteins from SARS-CoV-2 viz. NSP15 Endoribonuclease and spike receptor-binding domain. Asparoside-C, Asparoside-D and Asparoside -F were found to be most effective against both the proteins as confirmed through their docking score and affinity. Further, the 100 ns molecular dynamics study also confirmed the potential of these compounds from reasonably lower root mean square deviations and better stabilization of Asparoside-C and Asparoside-F in spike receptor-binding domain and NSP15 Endoribonuclease respectively. MM-GBSA based binding free energy calculations also suggest the most favourable binding affinities of Asparoside-C and Asparoside-F with binding energies of -62.61 and -55.19 Kcal/mol respectively with spike receptor-binding domain and NSP15 Endoribonuclease. HighlightsAsparagus racemosus have antiviral potentialPhytochemicals of Shatavari showed promising in-silico docking and MD resultsAsparaoside-C and Asparoside-F has good binding with target proteinsAsparagus racemosus holds promise as SARS-COV-2 (S) and (N) proteins inhibitor Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Phytochemicals , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Molecules ; 26(24)2021 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572566

ABSTRACT

This study demonstrates the inhibitory effect of 42 pyrimidonic pharmaceuticals (PPs) on the 3-chymotrypsin-like protease of SARS-CoV-2 (3CLpro) through molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations, and free binding energies by means of molecular mechanics-Poisson Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) and molecular mechanics-generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA). Of these tested PPs, 11 drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration showed an excellent binding affinity to the catalytic residues of 3CLpro of His41 and Cys145: uracil mustard, cytarabine, floxuridine, trifluridine, stavudine, lamivudine, zalcitabine, telbivudine, tipiracil, citicoline, and uridine triacetate. Their percentage of residues involved in binding at the active sites ranged from 56 to 100, and their binding affinities were in the range from -4.6 ± 0.14 to -7.0 ± 0.19 kcal/mol. The molecular dynamics as determined by a 200 ns simulation run of solvated docked complexes confirmed the stability of PP conformations that bound to the catalytic dyad and the active sites of 3CLpro. The free energy of binding also demonstrates the stability of the PP-3CLpro complexes. Citicoline and uridine triacetate showed free binding energies of -25.53 and -7.07 kcal/mol, respectively. Therefore, I recommend that they be repurposed for the fight against COVID-19, following proper experimental and clinical validation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Repositioning/methods , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Acetates/chemistry , Acetates/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cytidine Diphosphate Choline/chemistry , Cytidine Diphosphate Choline/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Uridine/analogs & derivatives , Uridine/chemistry , Uridine/pharmacology
14.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(12): e1009664, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571973

ABSTRACT

The evolution of circulating viruses is shaped by their need to evade antibody response, which mainly targets the viral spike. Because of the high density of spikes on the viral surface, not all antigenic sites are targeted equally by antibodies. We offer here a geometry-based approach to predict and rank the probability of surface residues of SARS spike (S protein) and influenza H1N1 spike (hemagglutinin) to acquire antibody-escaping mutations utilizing in-silico models of viral structure. We used coarse-grained MD simulations to estimate the on-rate (targeting) of an antibody model to surface residues of the spike protein. Analyzing publicly available sequences, we found that spike surface sequence diversity of the pre-pandemic seasonal influenza H1N1 and the sarbecovirus subgenus highly correlates with our model prediction of antibody targeting. In particular, we identified an antibody-targeting gradient, which matches a mutability gradient along the main axis of the spike. This identifies the role of viral surface geometry in shaping the evolution of circulating viruses. For the 2009 H1N1 and SARS-CoV-2 pandemics, a mutability gradient along the main axis of the spike was not observed. Our model further allowed us to identify key residues of the SARS-CoV-2 spike at which antibody escape mutations have now occurred. Therefore, it can inform of the likely functional role of observed mutations and predict at which residues antibody-escaping mutation might arise.


Subject(s)
Evolution, Molecular , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/genetics , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/immunology , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/virology , Models, Immunological , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry
15.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572669

ABSTRACT

Genotype screening was implemented in Italy and showed a significant prevalence of new SARS-CoV-2 mutants carrying Q675H mutation, near the furin cleavage site of spike protein. Currently, this mutation, which is expressed on different SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating worldwide, has not been thoughtfully investigated. Therefore, we performed phylogenetic and biocomputational analysis to better understand SARS-CoV-2 Q675H mutants' evolutionary relationships with other circulating lineages and Q675H function in its molecular context. Our studies reveal that Q675H spike mutation is the result of parallel evolution because it arose independently in separate evolutionary clades. In silico data show that the Q675H mutation gives rise to a hydrogen-bonds network in the spike polar region. This results in an optimized directionality of arginine residues involved in interaction of spike with the furin binding pocket, thus improving proteolytic exposure of the viral protein. Furin was predicted to have a greater affinity for Q675H than Q675 substrate conformations. As a consequence, Q675H mutation could confer a fitness advantage to SARS-CoV-2 by promoting a more efficient viral entry. Interestingly, here we have shown that Q675H spike mutation is documented in all the VOCs. This finding highlights that VOCs are still evolving to enhance viral fitness and to adapt to the human host. At the same time, it may suggest Q675H spike mutation involvement in SARS-CoV-2 evolution.


Subject(s)
Furin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , Genetic Fitness , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
16.
Molecules ; 26(24)2021 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555013

ABSTRACT

An increasing number of studies have demonstrated the antiviral nature of polyphenols, and many polyphenols have been proposed to inhibit SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2. Our previous study revealed the inhibitory mechanisms of polyphenols against DNA polymerase α and HIV reverse transcriptase to show that polyphenols can block DNA elongation by competing with the incoming NTPs. Here we applied computational approaches to examine if some polyphenols can also inhibit RNA polymerase (RdRp) in SARS-CoV-2, and we identified some better candidates than remdesivir, the FDA-approved drug against RdRp, in terms of estimated binding affinities. The proposed compounds will be further examined to develop new treatments for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Polyphenols/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Anthocyanins/chemistry , Anthocyanins/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/isolation & purification , COVID-19/drug therapy , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Molecular Structure , Polyphenols/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
17.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol ; 22(15): 2054-2070, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551391

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In December 2019, an outbreak of a pneumonia-like illness, Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19), originating from Wuhan, China, was linked to novel coronavirus, now termed SARS-CoV-2. Unfortunately, no effective drugs or vaccines have been reported yet. The main protease (MPRO) remains the most validated pharmacological target for the design and discovery of inhibitors. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to find a prospective natural scaffold as an inhibitor for MPRO main protease in SARS-CoV-2 and compare it with repurposed antiviral drugs lopinavir and nelfinavir. METHODS: Natural compound libraries were screened for potential scaffold against MPRO main protease. Molecular dynamics simulation, MM-GBSA and principal component analyses of enzyme- ligand complexes were carried out with the top-ranking hits and compared with the repurposed antiviral drugs lopinavir and nelfinavir. RESULTS: The structure-based virtual screening indicated phenylbenzopyrone of flavonoids as one of the top-ranking scaffolds that have the potential to inhibit the main protease with the Oglycosidic form, performing better than the corresponding aglyconic form. Simulation studies indicated that glycosidic form of flavonoid is a more suitable inhibitor with compounds rutin, procyanidin B6, baicalin and galloylquercetin, demonstrating high affinity and stability, and rutin, emerging as one of the best candidate compounds. Interestingly, rutin was reported to have inhibitory activity against similar protease (3Cprotease of enterovirus A71) and implicated in lung fibrosis. CONCLUSION: The present study on flavonoids, possessing a potential scaffold for inhibiting main protease activity for all betacoronavirus is an attempt to provide new and safe drug leads within a reasonably short period.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Flavonoids , Protease Inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Prospective Studies , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects
18.
Cell Rep ; 37(12): 110156, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549680

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) Beta (B.1.351) and Gamma (P.1) variants of concern (VoCs) include a key mutation (N501Y) found in the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant that enhances affinity of the spike protein for its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Additional mutations are found in these variants at residues 417 and 484 that appear to promote antibody evasion. In contrast, the Epsilon variants (B.1.427/429) lack the N501Y mutation yet exhibit antibody evasion. We have engineered spike proteins to express these receptor binding domain (RBD) VoC mutations either in isolation or in different combinations and analyze the effects using biochemical assays and cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structural analyses. Overall, our findings suggest that the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variant spikes can be rationalized as the result of mutations that confer increased ACE2 affinity, increased antibody evasion, or both, providing a framework to dissect the molecular factors that drive VoC evolution.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
19.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 23(27): 14873-14888, 2021 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541260

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, first detected in December 2019, is still emerging through virus mutations. Although almost under control in some countries due to effective vaccines that are mitigating the worldwide pandemic, the urgency to develop additional vaccines and therapeutic treatments is imperative. In this work, the natural polyphenols corilagin and 1,3,6-tri-O-galloy-ß-d-glucose (TGG) are investigated to determine the structural basis of inhibitor interactions as potential candidates to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 viral entry into target cells. First, the therapeutic potential of the ligands are assessed on the ACE2/wild-type RBD. We first use molecular docking followed by molecular dynamics, to take into account the conformational flexibility that plays a significant role in ligand binding and that cannot be captured using only docking, and then analyze more precisely the affinity of these ligands using MMPBSA binding free energy. We show that both ligands bind to the ACE2/wild-type RBD interface with good affinities which might prevent the ACE2/RBD association. Second, we confirm the potency of these ligands to block the ACE2/RBD association using a combination of surface plasmon resonance and biochemical inhibition assays. These experiments confirm that TGG and, to a lesser extent, corilagin, inhibit the binding of RBD to ACE2. Both experiments and simulations show that the ligands interact preferentially with RBD, while weak binding is observed with ACE2, hence, avoiding potential physiological side-effects induced by the inhibition of ACE2. In addition to the wild-type RBD, we also study numerically three RBD mutations (E484K, N501Y and E484K/N501Y) found in the main SARS-CoV-2 variants of concerns. We find that corilagin could be as effective for RBD/E484K but less effective for the RBD/N501Y and RBD/E484K-N501Y mutants, while TGG strongly binds at relevant locations to all three mutants, demonstrating the significant interest of these molecules as potential inhibitors for variants of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Gallic Acid/analogs & derivatives , Glucose/analogs & derivatives , Glucosides/chemistry , Hydrolyzable Tannins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , Gallic Acid/chemistry , Glucose/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
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