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1.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 168-171, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1623181

ABSTRACT

HCoV-OC43 is one of the mildly pathogenic coronaviruses with high infection rates in common population. Here, 43 HCoV-OC43 related cases with pneumonia were reported, corresponding genomes of HCoV-OC43 were obtained. Phylogenetic analyses based on complete genome, orf1ab and spike genes revealed that two novel genotypes of HCoV-OC43 have emerged in China. Obvious recombinant events also can be detected in the analysis of the evolutionary dynamics of novel HCoV-OC43 genotypes. Estimated divergence time analysis indicated that the two novel genotypes had apparently independent evolutionary routes. Efforts should be conducted for further investigation of genomic diversity and evolution analysis of mildly pathogenic coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Common Cold/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/genetics , Genome, Viral , Genotype , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Base Sequence , Bayes Theorem , Child , Child, Hospitalized , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Common Cold/pathology , Common Cold/transmission , Common Cold/virology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/classification , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Monte Carlo Method , Mutation , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Recombination, Genetic
2.
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
3.
Gene ; 813: 146113, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616498

ABSTRACT

Since late 2019, when SARS-CoV-2 was reported at Wuhan, several sequence analyses have been performed and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences have been submitted in various databases. Moreover, the impact of these variants on infectivity and response to neutralizing antibodies has been assessed. In the present study, we retrieved a total number of 176 complete and high-quality S glycoprotein sequences of Iranian SARS-COV-2 in public database of the GISAID and GenBank from April 2020 up to May 2021. Then, we identified the number of variables, singleton and parsimony informative sites at both gene and protein levels and discussed the possible functional consequences of important mutations on the infectivity and response to neutralizing antibodies. Phylogenetic tree was constructed to represent the relationship between Iranian SARS-COV2 and variants of concern (VOC), variants of interest (VOI) and reference sequence. We found that the four current VOCs - Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta - are circulated in different regions in Iran. The Delta variant is notably more transmissible than other variants, and is expected to become a dominant variant. However, some of the Delta variants in Iran carry an additional mutation, namely E1202Q in the HR2 subdomain that might confer an advantage to viral/cell membrane fusion process. We also observed some more common mutations such as an N-terminal domain (NTD) deletion at position I210 and P863H in fusion peptide-heptad repeat 1 span region in Iranian SARS-COV-2. The reported mutations in the current project have practical significance in prediction of disease spread as well as design of vaccines and drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Databases, Genetic , Humans , Iran/epidemiology , Mutation/genetics , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sequence Analysis, DNA/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
4.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260850, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613341

ABSTRACT

Novel strains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) harboring nucleotide changes (mutations) in the spike gene have emerged and are spreading rapidly. These mutations are associated with SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility, virulence, or resistance to some neutralizing antibodies. Thus, the accurate detection of spike mutants is crucial for controlling SARS-CoV-2 transmission and identifying neutralizing antibody-resistance caused by amino acid changes in the receptor-binding domain. Here, we developed five SARS-CoV-2 spike gene primer pairs (5-SSG primer assay; 69S, 144S, 417S, 484S, and 570S) and verified their ability to detect nine key spike mutations (ΔH69/V70, T95I, G142D, ΔY144, K417T/N, L452R, E484K/Q, N501Y, and H655Y) using a Sanger sequencing-based assay. The 5-SSG primer assay showed 100% specificity and a conservative limit of detection with a median tissue culture infective dose (TCID50) values of 1.4 × 102 TCID50/mL. The accuracy of the 5-SSG primer assay was confirmed by next generation sequencing. The results of these two approaches showed 100% consistency. Taken together, the ability of the 5-SSG primer assay to accurately detect key SARS-CoV-2 spike mutants is reliable. Thus, it is a useful tool for detecting SARS-CoV-2 spike gene mutants in a clinical setting, thereby helping to improve the management of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , DNA Primers/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Limit of Detection , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
5.
BMC Mol Cell Biol ; 23(1): 2, 2022 Jan 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 pandemic is a RNA virus prone to mutations. Formation of a stable binding interface between the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) of host is pivotal for viral entry. RBD has been shown to mutate frequently during pandemic. Although, a few mutations in RBD exhibit enhanced transmission rates leading to rise of new variants of concern, most RBD mutations show sustained ACE2 binding and virus infectivity. Yet, how all these mutations make the binding interface constantly favourable for virus remain enigmatic. This study aims to delineate molecular rearrangements in the binding interface of SARS-CoV-2 RBD mutants. RESULTS: Here, we have generated a mutational and structural landscape of SARS-CoV-2 RBD in first six months of the pandemic. We analyzed 31,403 SARS-CoV-2 genomes randomly across the globe, and identified 444 non-synonymous mutations in RBD that cause 49 distinct amino acid substitutions in contact and non-contact amino acid residues. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggested independent emergence of RBD mutants. Structural mapping of these mutations on the SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan reference strain RBD and structural comparison with RBDs from bat-CoV, SARS-CoV, and pangolin-CoV, all bound to human or mouse ACE2, revealed several changes in the interfacial interactions in all three binding clusters. Interestingly, interactions mediated via N487 residue in cluster-I and Y449, G496, T500, G502 residues in cluster-III remained largely unchanged in all RBD mutants. Further analysis showed that these interactions are evolutionarily conserved in sarbecoviruses which use ACE2 for entry. Importantly, despite extensive changes in the interface, RBD-ACE2 stability and binding affinities were maintained in all the analyzed mutants. Taken together, these findings reveal how SARS-CoV-2 uses its RBD residues to constantly remodel the binding interface. CONCLUSION: Our study broadly signifies understanding virus-host binding interfaces and their alterations during pandemic. Our findings propose a possible interface remodelling mechanism used by SARS-CoV-2 to escape deleterious mutations. Future investigations will focus on functional validation of in-silico findings and on investigating interface remodelling mechanisms across sarbecoviruses. Thus, in long run, this study may provide novel clues to therapeutically target RBD-ACE2 interface for pan-sarbecovirus infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Mice , Mutation , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
6.
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
7.
Int J Surg ; 97: 106187, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611769

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Mutation
8.
Anal Chem ; 94(2): 927-933, 2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608927

ABSTRACT

The recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly around the world. Accurate and scalable diagnostics are essential for immediate intervention and control of viral transmission. Currently reported diagnostics are rapid and sensitive, yet most are limited by their principle of single-locus identification and suffer from false-negative results because of the mutation-prone nature of RNA viruses. Here, we propose a multilocus detection method for SARS-CoV-2 based on a modified loop-mediated isothermal amplification with a pair of universal primers. The sequence-specific probes are designed to recognize the sequence of nucleocapsid protein (N) and the open reading frame 1ab (Orf1ab) gene from the SARS-CoV-2 genome. In the presence of a target locus, separated probes are ligated to be an intact template, the bipartite ends of which are repetitive sequences for the sequential binding of universal primers to initiate strand displacement. A kind of flap structure-dependent endonuclease is involved in cleaving multicolor TaqMan probes during multiplex amplification, realizing a real-time and multiplex analysis. We evaluated the quantitative performance of the developed method with spiked samples using synthetic target RNA, resulting in a limit of detection as low as 250 aM. Furthermore, the feasibility of multilocus detection was validated using various mutation-prone genes, demonstrating a significant potential for accurate analysis of SARS-CoV-2 and holding great promise for the clinical diagnosis of other infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Mutation , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
9.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(24): 8019-8022, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605687

ABSTRACT

Recently a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 was reported from South Africa. World Health Organization (WHO) named this mutant as a variant of concern - Omicron (B.1.1.529) on 26th November 2021. This variant exhibited more than thirty amino acid mutations in the spike protein. This mutation rate is exceeding the other variants by approximately 5-11 times in the receptor-binding motif of the spike protein. Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant might have enhanced transmissibility and immune evasion. This new variant can reinfect individuals previously infected with other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Scientists expressed their concern about the efficacy of already existing COVID-19 vaccines against Omicron (B.1.1.529) infections. Some of the crucial mutations that are detected in the receptor-binding domain of the Omicron variant have been shared by previously evolved SARS-CoV-2 variants. Based on the Omicron mutation profile in the receptor-binding domain and motif, it might have collectively enhanced or intermediary infectivity relative to its previous variants. Due to extensive mutations in the spike protein, the Omicron variant might evade the immunity in the vaccinated individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Reinfection/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mutation , Reinfection/immunology , Reinfection/transmission , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vaccine Potency
10.
Front Immunol ; 12: 807134, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604257

ABSTRACT

ORF8 is a viral immunoglobulin-like (Ig-like) domain protein encoded by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA genome. It tends to evolve rapidly and interfere with immune responses. However, the structural characteristics of various coronavirus ORF8 proteins and their subsequent effects on biological functions remain unclear. Herein, we determined the crystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 (S84) (one of the epidemic isoforms) and the bat coronavirus RaTG13 ORF8 variant at 1.62 Å and 1.76 Å resolution, respectively. Comparison of these ORF8 proteins demonstrates that the 62-77 residues in Ig-like domain of coronavirus ORF8 adopt different conformations. Combined with mutagenesis assays, the residue Cys20 of ORF8 is responsible for forming the covalent disulfide-linked dimer in crystal packing and in vitro biochemical conditions. Furthermore, immune cell-binding assays indicate that various ORF8 (SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 (L84), ORF8 (S84), and RaTG13 ORF8) proteins have different interaction capabilities with human CD14+ monocytes in human peripheral blood. These results provide new insights into the specific characteristics of various coronavirus ORF8 and suggest that ORF8 variants may influence disease-related immune responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Chiroptera/immunology , Immunity/immunology , Immunoglobulin Domains/immunology , Viral Proteins/immunology , Animals , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chiroptera/genetics , Chiroptera/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Immunity/genetics , Immunoglobulin Domains/genetics , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/immunology , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Mutation , Protein Binding , Species Specificity , Viral Proteins/classification , Viral Proteins/genetics
12.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0165921, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598527

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccines are currently being administered worldwide and playing a critical role in controlling the pandemic. They have been designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies against Spike protein of the original SARS-CoV-2, and hence they are less effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutated Spike than the original virus. It is possible that novel variants with abilities of enhanced transmissibility and/or immunoevasion will appear in the near future and perfectly escape from vaccine-elicited immunity. Therefore, the current vaccines may need to be improved to compensate for the viral evolution. For this purpose, it may be beneficial to take advantage of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Several lines of evidence suggest the contribution of CTLs on the viral control in COVID-19, and CTLs target a wide range of proteins involving comparatively conserved nonstructural proteins. Here, we identified 22 HLA-A*24:02-restricted CTL candidate epitopes derived from the nonstructural polyprotein 1a (pp1a) of SARS-CoV-2 using computational algorithms, HLA-A*24:02 transgenic mice and the peptide-encapsulated liposomes. We focused on pp1a and HLA-A*24:02 because pp1a is relatively conserved and HLA-A*24:02 is predominant in East Asians such as Japanese. The conservation analysis revealed that the amino acid sequences of 7 out of the 22 epitopes were hardly affected by a number of mutations in the Sequence Read Archive database of SARS-CoV-2 variants. The information of such conserved epitopes might be useful for designing the next-generation COVID-19 vaccine that is universally effective against any SARS-CoV-2 variants by the induction of both anti-Spike neutralizing antibodies and CTLs specific for conserved epitopes. IMPORTANCE COVID-19 vaccines have been designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies against the Spike protein of the original SARS-CoV-2, and hence they are less effective against variants. It is possible that novel variants will appear and escape from vaccine-elicited immunity. Therefore, the current vaccines may need to be improved to compensate for the viral evolution. For this purpose, it may be beneficial to take advantage of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Here, we identified 22 HLA-A*24:02-restricted CTL candidate epitopes derived from the nonstructural polyprotein 1a (pp1a) of SARS-CoV-2. We focused on pp1a and HLA-A*24:02 because pp1a is conserved and HLA-A*24:02 is predominant in East Asians. The conservation analysis revealed that the amino acid sequences of 7 out of the 22 epitopes were hardly affected by mutations in the database of SARS-CoV-2 variants. The information might be useful for designing the next-generation COVID-19 vaccine that is universally effective against any variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , HLA-A24 Antigen/genetics , HLA-A24 Antigen/immunology , Mutation , Polyproteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes/genetics , HLA-A24 Antigen/isolation & purification , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
13.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 208-211, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598042

ABSTRACT

We performed an annotation of 35 mutations in the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. Our analysis of the mutations indicates that Omicron has gained prominent immune evasion and potential for enhanced transmissibility. Previous modeling study has revealed that continued evolution in both immune evasion and enhanced transmissibility by SARS-CoV-2 would compromise vaccines as tools for the pandemic control. To combat the future variants of SARS-CoV-2, the world needs novel antiviral drugs that are effective at curb viral spreading without introducing additional selective pressure towards resistant variants.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Design/methods , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mutation , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
15.
PLoS Biol ; 19(12): e3001510, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592147

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects a broader range of mammalian species than previously predicted, binding a diversity of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) orthologs despite extensive sequence divergence. Within this sequence degeneracy, we identify a rare sequence combination capable of conferring SARS-CoV-2 resistance. We demonstrate that this sequence was likely unattainable during human evolution due to deleterious effects on ACE2 carboxypeptidase activity, which has vasodilatory and cardioprotective functions in vivo. Across the 25 ACE2 sites implicated in viral binding, we identify 6 amino acid substitutions unique to mouse-one of the only known mammalian species resistant to SARS-CoV-2. Substituting human variants at these positions is sufficient to confer binding of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein to mouse ACE2, facilitating cellular infection. Conversely, substituting mouse variants into either human or dog ACE2 abolishes viral binding, diminishing cellular infection. However, these same substitutions decrease human ACE2 activity by 50% and are predicted as pathogenic, consistent with the extreme rarity of human polymorphisms at these sites. This trade-off can be avoided, however, depending on genetic background; if substituted simultaneously, these same mutations have no deleterious effect on dog ACE2 nor that of the rodent ancestor estimated to exist 70 million years ago. This genetic contingency (epistasis) may have therefore opened the road to resistance for some species, while making humans susceptible to viruses that use these ACE2 surfaces for binding, as does SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Disease Resistance/genetics , Epistasis, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Amino Acids , Angiotensin II/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/genetics , Dogs , Evolution, Molecular , Gene Frequency , Humans , Hydrolysis , Mice , Mutation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Attachment
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24495, 2021 12 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591495

ABSTRACT

The ability of SARS-CoV-2 to rapidly mutate represents a remarkable complicancy. Quantitative evaluations of the effects that these mutations have on the virus structure/function is of great relevance and the availability of a large number of SARS-CoV-2 sequences since the early phases of the pandemic represents a unique opportunity to follow the adaptation of the virus to humans. Here, we evaluated the SARS-CoV-2 amino acid mutations and their progression by analyzing publicly available viral genomes at three stages of the pandemic (2020 March 15th and October 7th, 2021 February 7th). Mutations were classified in conservative and non-conservative based on the probability to be accepted during the evolution according to the Point Accepted Mutation substitution matrices and on the similarity of the encoding codons. We found that the most frequent substitutions are T > I, L > F, and A > V and we observe accumulation of hydrophobic residues. These findings are consistent among the three stages analyzed. We also found that non-conservative mutations are less frequent than conservative ones. This finding may be ascribed to a progressive adaptation of the virus to the host. In conclusion, the present study provides indications of the early evolution of the virus and tools for the global and genome-specific evaluation of the possible impact of mutations on the structure/function of SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Humans , Mutation
18.
J Virol ; 94(13)2020 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583223

ABSTRACT

Fusion with, and subsequent entry into, the host cell is one of the critical steps in the life cycle of enveloped viruses. For Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the spike (S) protein is the main determinant of viral entry. Proteolytic cleavage of the S protein exposes its fusion peptide (FP), which initiates the process of membrane fusion. Previous studies on the related severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) FP have shown that calcium ions (Ca2+) play an important role in fusogenic activity via a Ca2+ binding pocket with conserved glutamic acid (E) and aspartic acid (D) residues. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV FPs share a high sequence homology, and here, we investigated whether Ca2+ is required for MERS-CoV fusion by screening a mutant array in which E and D residues in the MERS-CoV FP were substituted with neutrally charged alanines (A). Upon verifying mutant cell surface expression and proteolytic cleavage, we tested their ability to mediate pseudoparticle (PP) infection of host cells in modulating Ca2+ environments. Our results demonstrate that intracellular Ca2+ enhances MERS-CoV wild-type (WT) PP infection by approximately 2-fold and that E891 is a crucial residue for Ca2+ interaction. Subsequent electron spin resonance (ESR) experiments revealed that this enhancement could be attributed to Ca2+ increasing MERS-CoV FP fusion-relevant membrane ordering. Intriguingly, isothermal calorimetry showed an approximate 1:1 MERS-CoV FP to Ca2+ ratio, as opposed to an 1:2 SARS-CoV FP to Ca2+ ratio, suggesting significant differences in FP Ca2+ interactions of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV FP despite their high sequence similarity.IMPORTANCE Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a major emerging infectious disease with zoonotic potential and has reservoirs in dromedary camels and bats. Since its first outbreak in 2012, the virus has repeatedly transmitted from camels to humans, with 2,468 confirmed cases causing 851 deaths. To date, there are no efficacious drugs and vaccines against MERS-CoV, increasing its potential to cause a public health emergency. In order to develop novel drugs and vaccines, it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms that enable the virus to infect host cells. Our data have found that calcium is an important regulator of viral fusion by interacting with negatively charged residues in the MERS-CoV FP region. This information can guide therapeutic solutions to block this calcium interaction and also repurpose already approved drugs for this use for a fast response to MERS-CoV outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Calcium/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Ions/metabolism , Membrane Fusion , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Virus Internalization , Amino Acid Sequence , Amino Acid Substitution , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Proteolysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells , Virulence , Virus Assembly
19.
Front Immunol ; 12: 751778, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581343

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged and spread worldwide. The Delta (B.1.617.2) variant was first reported in India in October 2020 and was classified as a "variant of concern (VOC)" by the WHO on 11 May, 2021. Compared to the wild-type strain, several studies have shown that the Delta variant is more transmissible and has higher viral loads in infected samples. COVID-19 patients infected with the Delta variant have a higher risk of hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and mortality. The Delta variant is becoming the dominant strain in many countries around the world. This review summarizes and analyses the biological characteristics of key amino acid mutations, the epidemic characteristics, and the immune escape of the Delta variant. We hope to provide scientific reference for the monitoring and prevention measures of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant and the development strategy of a second-generation vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mutation/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Epidemics , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mass Vaccination
20.
Cells ; 10(12)2021 12 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580999

ABSTRACT

Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is a rare disorder characterized by dysregulation of the alternate pathway. The diagnosis of aHUS is one of exclusion, which complicates its early detection and corresponding intervention to mitigate its high rate of mortality and associated morbidity. Heterozygous mutations in complement regulatory proteins linked to aHUS are not always phenotypically active, and may require a particular trigger for the disease to manifest. This list of triggers continues to expand as more data is aggregated, particularly centered around COVID-19 and pediatric vaccinations. Novel genetic mutations continue to be identified though advancements in technology as well as greater access to cohorts of interest, as in diacylglycerol kinase epsilon (DGKE). DGKE mutations associated with aHUS are the first non-complement regulatory proteins associated with the disease, drastically changing the established framework. Additional markers that are less understood, but continue to be acknowledged, include the unique autoantibodies to complement factor H and complement factor I which are pathogenic drivers in aHUS. Interventional therapeutics have undergone the most advancements, as pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties are modified as needed in addition to their as biosimilar counterparts. As data continues to be gathered in this field, future advancements will optimally decrease the mortality and morbidity of this disease in children.


Subject(s)
Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome/genetics , Complement Factor H/genetics , Complement Factor I/genetics , Diacylglycerol Kinase/genetics , Mutation , Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome/drug therapy , Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Child , Complement Factor H/immunology , Complement Factor I/immunology , Diacylglycerol Kinase/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
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