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1.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 24(41): 25391-25402, 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077132

ABSTRACT

Here, we have carried out a proof-of-concept molecular dynamics (MD) simulation with adaptive tempering in a membrane mimetic environment to study the folding of single-pass membrane peptides. We tested the influenza A M2 viroporin, influenza B M2 viroporin, and protein E from coronaviruses MERS-Cov-2 and SARS-CoV-2 peptides with known experimental secondary structures in membrane bilayers. The two influenza-derived peptides are significantly different in the peptide sequence and secondary structure and more polar than the two coronavirus-derived peptides. Through a total of more than 50 µs of simulation time that could be accomplished in trifluoroethanol (TFE), as a membrane model, we characterized comparatively the folding behavior, helical stability, and helical propensity of these transmembrane peptides that match perfectly their experimental secondary structures, and we identified common motifs that reflect their quaternary organization and known (or not) biochemical function. We showed that BM2 is organized into two structurally distinct parts: a significantly more stable N-terminal half, and a fast-converting C-terminal half that continuously folds and unfolds between α-helical structures and non-canonical structures, which are mostly turns. In AM2, both the N-terminal half and C-terminal half are very flexible. In contrast, the two coronavirus-derived transmembrane peptides are much more stable and fast helix-formers when compared with the influenza ones. In particular, the SARS-derived peptide E appears to be the fastest and most stable helix-former of all the four viral peptides studied, with a helical structure that persists almost without disruption for the whole of its 10 µs simulation. By comparing the results with experimental observations, we benchmarked TFE in studying the conformation of membrane and hydrophobic peptides. This work provided accurate results suggesting a methodology to run long MD simulations and predict structural properties of biologically important membrane peptides.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptides/chemistry , Polytetrafluoroethylene , Protein Folding , Protein Structure, Secondary , SARS-CoV-2 , Solvents , Trifluoroethanol/chemistry , Viroporin Proteins , Influenzavirus B , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
2.
J Med Chem ; 65(20): 13852-13865, 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2062145

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has necessitated the development of antiviral agents against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). 3C-like protease (3CLpro) is a promising target for COVID-19 treatment. Here, we report a new class of covalent inhibitors of 3CLpro that possess chlorofluoroacetamide (CFA) as a cysteine-reactive warhead. Based on an aza-peptide scaffold, we synthesized a series of CFA derivatives in enantiopure form and evaluated their biochemical efficiency. The data revealed that 8a (YH-6) with the R configuration at the CFA unit strongly blocks SARS-CoV-2 replication in infected cells, and its potency is comparable to that of nirmatrelvir. X-ray structural analysis showed that YH-6 formed a covalent bond with Cys145 at the catalytic center of 3CLpro. The strong antiviral activity and favorable pharmacokinetic properties of YH-6 suggest its potential as a lead compound for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , COVID-19/drug therapy , Peptide Hydrolases , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Cysteine , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Peptides/chemistry
3.
ACS Nano ; 16(10): 17466-17477, 2022 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2050262

ABSTRACT

The continuing emergence of variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus requires the development of modular molecular therapies. Here, we engineered a recombinant amphiphilic protein, oleosin, to spontaneously self-assemble into multivalent micellar nanostructures which can block the Spike S1 protein of SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses (PVs). Short recombinant proteins like oleosin can be formulated more easily than antibodies and can be functionalized with precision through genetic engineering. We cloned S1-binding mini-protein genes called LCBx, previously designed by David Baker's laboratory (UW Seattle), to the N-terminus of oleosin, expressing Oleo-LCBx proteins in E. coli. These proteins largely formed 10-100 nm micelles as verified by dynamic light scattering. Two proteins, Oleo-LCB1 and Oleo-LCB3, were seen to completely and irreversibly block transduction by both wild-type and delta variant PVs into 293T-hsACE2 cells at 10 µM. Presented in multivalent micelles, these proteins reduced transduction by PVs down to a functional protein concentration of 5 nM. Additionally, Oleo-LCB1 micelles outperformed corresponding synthetic LCB1 mini-proteins in reducing transduction by PVs. Tunable aqueous solubility of recombinant oleosin allowed incorporation of peptides/mini-proteins at high concentrations within micelles, thus enhancing drug loading. To validate the potential multifunctionality of the micelles, we showed that certain combinations of Oleo-LCB1 and Oleo-LCB3 performed much better than the individual proteins at the same concentration. These micelles, which we showed to be non-toxic to human cells, are thus a promising step toward the design of modular, multifunctional therapeutics that could bind to and inactivate multiple receptors and proteins necessary for the infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Micelles , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Peptides/chemistry
4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(40): e2210990119, 2022 10 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2037061

ABSTRACT

Variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) challenge currently available coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapies through epitope change on the receptor binding domain of the viral spike glycoprotein. Hence, there is a specific urgent need for alternative antivirals that target processes less likely to be affected by mutation, such as the membrane fusion step of viral entry into the host cell. One such antiviral class includes peptide inhibitors, which block formation of the so-called heptad repeat 1 and 2 (HR1HR2) six-helix bundle of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and thus interfere with viral membrane fusion. We performed structural studies of the HR1HR2 bundle, revealing an extended, well-folded N-terminal region of HR2 that interacts with the HR1 triple helix. Based on this structure, we designed an extended HR2 peptide that achieves single-digit nanomolar inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in cell-based and virus-based assays without the need for modifications such as lipidation or chemical stapling. The peptide also strongly inhibits all major SARS-CoV-2 variants to date. This extended peptide is ∼100-fold more potent than all previously published short, unmodified HR2 peptides, and it has a very long inhibition lifetime after washout in virus infection assays, suggesting that it targets a prehairpin intermediate of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein. Together, these results suggest that regions outside the HR2 helical region may offer new opportunities for potent peptide-derived therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, and even more distantly related viruses, and provide further support for the prehairpin intermediate of the S protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
5.
J Proteome Res ; 21(10): 2443-2452, 2022 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2028639

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant presented significant challenges to the global effort to counter the pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is predicted to remain prevalent for the foreseeable future, making the ability to identify SARS-CoV-2 variants imperative in understanding and controlling the pandemic. The predominant variant discovery method, genome sequencing, is time-consuming, insensitive, and expensive. Ultraperformance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) offers an exciting alternative detection modality provided that variant-containing peptide markers are sufficiently detectable from their tandem mass spectra (MS/MS). We have synthesized model tryptic peptides of SARS-CoV-2 variants alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and omicron and evaluated their signal intensity, HCD spectra, and reverse phase retention time. Detection limits of 781, 781, 65, and 65 amol are obtained for the molecular ions of the proteotypic peptides, beta (QIAPGQTGNIADYNYK), gamma (TQLPSAYTNSFTR), delta (VGGNYNYR), and omicron (TLVKQLSSK), from neat solutions. These detection limits are on par with the detection limits of a previously reported proteotypic peptide from the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, HTPINLVR. This study demonstrates the potential to differentiate SARS-CoV-2 variants through their proteotypic peptides with an approach that is broadly applicable across a wide range of pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Chromatography, Liquid , Humans , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Tandem Mass Spectrometry
6.
Front Immunol ; 13: 956369, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022739

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused significant loss of life and property. In response to the serious pandemic, recently developed vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have been administrated to the public. Nevertheless, the research on human immunization response against COVID-19 vaccines is insufficient. Although much information associated with vaccine efficacy, safety and immunogenicity has been reported by pharmaceutical companies based on laboratory studies and clinical trials, vaccine evaluation needs to be extended further to better understand the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on human beings. Methods: We performed a comparative peptidome analysis on serum samples from 95 participants collected at four time points before and after receiving CoronaVac. The collected serum samples were analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) to profile the serum peptides, and also subjected to humoral and cellular immune response analyses to obtain typical immunogenicity information. Results: Significant difference in serum peptidome profiles by MALDI-TOF MS was observed after vaccination. By supervised statistical analysis, a total of 13 serum MALDI-TOF MS feature peaks were obtained on day 28 and day 42 of vaccination. The feature peaks were identified as component C1q receptor, CD59 glycoprotein, mannose-binding protein C, platelet basic protein, CD99 antigen, Leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein, integral membrane protein 2B, platelet factor 4 and hemoglobin subunits. Combining with immunogenicity analysis, the study provided evidence for the humoral and cellular immune responses activated by CoronaVac. Furthermore, we found that it is possible to distinguish neutralizing antibody (NAbs)-positive from NAbs-negative individuals after complete vaccination using the serum peptidome profiles by MALDI-TOF MS together with machine learning methods, including random forest (RF), partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), linear support vector machine (SVM) and logistic regression (LR). Conclusions: The study shows the promise of MALDI-TOF MS-based serum peptidome analysis for the assessment of immune responses activated by COVID-19 vaccination, and discovered a panel of serum peptides biomarkers for COVID-19 vaccination and for NAbs generation. The method developed in this study can help not only in the development of new vaccines, but also in the post-marketing evaluation of developed vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Biomarkers , COVID-19/prevention & control , Glycoproteins , Humans , Immunity , Peptides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Med Chem ; 65(17): 11840-11853, 2022 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016520

ABSTRACT

Site-selective lysine modification of peptides and proteins in aqueous solutions or in living cells is still a big challenge today. Here, we report a novel strategy to selectively quinolylate lysine residues of peptides and proteins under native conditions without any catalysts using our newly developed water-soluble zoliniums. The zoliniums could site-selectively quinolylate K350 of bovine serum albumin and inactivate SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro via covalently modifying two highly conserved lysine residues (K5 and K61). In living HepG2 cells, it was demonstrated that the simple zoliniums (5b and 5B) could quinolylate protein lysine residues mainly in the nucleus, cytosol, and cytoplasm, while the zolinium-fluorophore hybrid (8) showed specific lysosome-imaging ability. The specific chemoselectivity of the zoliniums for lysine was validated by a mixture of eight different amino acids, different peptides bearing potential reactive residues, and quantum chemistry calculations. This study offers a new way to design and develop lysine-targeted covalent ligands for specific application.


Subject(s)
Lysine , Peptides , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Lysine/chemistry , Peptides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Serum Albumin, Bovine/chemistry , Water/chemistry
8.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(17)2022 Sep 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2010110

ABSTRACT

The rapid and global propagation of the novel human coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has produced an immediate urgency to discover promising targets for the treatment of this virus. In this paper, we studied the spike protein S2 domain of SARS-CoV-2 as it is the most conserved component and controls the crucial fusion process of SARS-CoV-2 as a target for different databases of small organic compounds. Our in silico methodology, based on pharmacophore modeling, docking simulation and molecular dynamics simulations, was first validated with ADS-J1, a potent small-molecule HIV fusion inhibitor that has already proved effective in binding the HR1 domain and inhibiting the fusion core of SARS-CoV-1. It then focused on finding novel small molecules and new peptides as fusion inhibitors. Our methodology identified several small molecules and peptides as potential inhibitors of the fusion process. Among these, NF 023 hydrate (MolPort-006-822-583) is one of the best-scored compounds. Other compounds of interest are ZINC00097961973, Salvianolic acid, Thalassiolin A and marine_160925_88_2. Two interesting active peptides were also identified: AP00094 (Temporin A) and AVP1227 (GBVA5). The inhibition of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is a valid target to inhibit the virus entry in human cells. The discussed compounds reported in this paper led to encouraging results for future in vitro tests against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Membrane Fusion , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptides/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
9.
ACS Nano ; 16(9): 14239-14253, 2022 Sep 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991501

ABSTRACT

Limitations of the recognition elements in terms of synthesis, cost, availability, and stability have impaired the translation of biosensors into practical use. Inspired by nature to mimic the molecular recognition of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 S protein antibody (AbS) by the S protein binding site, we synthesized the peptide sequence of Asn-Asn-Ala-Thr-Asn-COOH (abbreviated as PEP2003) to create COVID-19 screening label-free (LF) biosensors based on a carbon electrode, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The PEP2003 is easily obtained by chemical synthesis, and it can be adsorbed on electrodes while maintaining its ability for AbS recognition, further leading to a sensitivity 3.4-fold higher than the full-length S protein, which is in agreement with the increase in the target-to-receptor size ratio. Peptide-loaded LF devices based on noncovalent immobilization were developed by affording fast and simple analyses, along with a modular functionalization. From studies by molecular docking, the peptide-AbS binding was found to be driven by hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Moreover, the peptide is not amenable to denaturation, thus addressing the trade-off between scalability, cost, and robustness. The biosensor preserves 95.1% of the initial signal for 20 days when stored dry at 4 °C. With the aid of two simple equations fitted by machine learning (ML), the method was able to make the COVID-19 screening of 39 biological samples into healthy and infected groups with 100.0% accuracy. By taking advantage of peptide-related merits combined with advances in surface chemistry and ML-aided accuracy, this platform is promising to bring COVID-19 biosensors into mainstream use toward straightforward, fast, and accurate analyses at the point of care, with social and economic impacts being achieved.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Metal Nanoparticles , Biosensing Techniques/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Carbon/chemistry , Electrochemical Techniques , Electrodes , Gold/chemistry , Humans , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptides/chemistry
10.
Brief Bioinform ; 23(5)2022 09 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1948166

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has alerted people of the threat caused by viruses. Vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the disease from spreading. The interaction between antibodies and antigens will clear the infectious organisms from the host. Identifying B-cell epitopes is critical in vaccine design, development of disease diagnostics and antibody production. However, traditional experimental methods to determine epitopes are time-consuming and expensive, and the predictive performance using the existing in silico methods is not satisfactory. This paper develops a general framework to predict variable-length linear B-cell epitopes specific for human-adapted viruses with machine learning approaches based on Protvec representation of peptides and physicochemical properties of amino acids. QR decomposition is incorporated during the embedding process that enables our models to handle variable-length sequences. Experimental results on large immune epitope datasets validate that our proposed model's performance is superior to the state-of-the-art methods in terms of AUROC (0.827) and AUPR (0.831) on the testing set. Moreover, sequence analysis also provides the results of the viral category for the corresponding predicted epitopes with high precision. Therefore, this framework is shown to reliably identify linear B-cell epitopes of human-adapted viruses given protein sequences and could provide assistance for potential future pandemics and epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viruses , Amino Acids , Epitope Mapping/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Humans , Machine Learning , Peptides/chemistry
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(13)2022 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1934134

ABSTRACT

Chia seed peptides (CSP) can be a source of multifunctional biopeptides to treat non-communicable diseases. However, interactions and binding affinity involved in targeting specific receptors remains unexplored. In this study, molecular simulation techniques were used as virtual screening of CSP to determine drug-like candidates using a multi-target-directed ligand approach. CSP fraction with the best bioactivities in vitro was sequenced. Then, a prediction model was built using physicochemical descriptors (hydrophobicity, hydrophilicity, intestinal stability, antiangiogenic, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatory) to calculate potential scores and rank possible biopeptides. Furthermore, molecular dynamics simulations (MDS) and ensemble molecular docking analysis were carried out using four human protein targets (ACE, angiotensin converting enzyme; VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor; GLUC, glucocorticoid and MINC, mineralocorticoid receptors). Five known-sequence peptides (NNVFYPF, FNIVFPG, SRPWPIDY, QLQRWFR, GSRFDWTR) and five de novo peptides (DFKF, DLRF, FKAF, FRSF, QFRF) had the lowest energy score and higher affinity for ACE and VEGF. The therapeutic effects of these selected peptides can be related to the inhibition of the enzymes involved in angiogenesis and hypertension, due to formation of stable complexes with VEGF and ACE binding sites, respectively. The application of MDS is a good resource for identifying bioactive peptides for future experimental validation.


Subject(s)
Salvia hispanica , Salvia , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptides/chemistry , Plant Extracts , Salvia/chemistry , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
12.
Anal Chem ; 94(33): 11464-11469, 2022 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931290

ABSTRACT

A new peptide inhibitor was designed and optimized from an α-helix-rich peptide library specifically toward the critical prion-like domain (PLD) of SARS-CoV-2. It compactly blocked the S1 protein and potently neutralized the pseudovirus which shows promising potential for prophylactic and treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Prions , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Peptides/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
13.
Chembiochem ; 23(17): e202200372, 2022 09 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1929772

ABSTRACT

During viral cell entry, the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 binds to the α1-helix motif of human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Thus, alpha-helical peptides mimicking this motif may serve as inhibitors of viral cell entry. For this purpose, we employed the rigidified diproline-derived module ProM-5 to induce α-helicity in short peptide sequences inspired by the ACE2 α1-helix. Starting with Ac-QAKTFLDKFNHEAEDLFYQ-NH2 as a relevant section of α1, a series of peptides, N-capped with either Ac-ßHAsp-[ProM-5] or Ac-ßHAsp-PP, were prepared and their α-helicities were investigated. While ProM-5 clearly showed a pronounced effect, an even increased degree of helicity (up to 63 %) was observed in sequences in which non-binding amino acids were replaced by alanine. The binding affinities of the peptides towards the spike protein, as determined by means of microscale thermophoresis (MST), revealed only a subtle influence of the α-helical content and, noteworthy, led to the identification of an Ac-ßHAsp-PP-capped peptide displaying a very strong binding affinity (KD =62 nM).


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Peptides/chemistry , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
14.
J Proteome Res ; 21(8): 2055-2062, 2022 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921546

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here we report a novel strategy for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 based on an enrichment approach exploiting the affinity between the virus and cellulose sulfate ester functional groups, hot acid hydrolysis, and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Virus samples were enriched using cellulose sulfate ester microcolumns. Virus peptides were prepared using the hot acid aspartate-selective hydrolysis and characterized by MALDI-TOF MS. Collected spectra were processed with a peptide fingerprint algorithm, and searching parameters were optimized for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. These peptides provide high sequence coverage for nucleocapsid (N protein) and allow confident identification of SARS-CoV-2. Peptide markers contributing to the detection were rigorously identified using bottom-up proteomics. The approach demonstrated in this study holds the potential for developing a rapid assay for COVID-19 diagnosis and detecting virus variants from a variety of sources, such as sewage and nasal swabs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Cellulose/analogs & derivatives , Esters , Humans , Peptides/chemistry , Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization/methods
15.
J Hum Genet ; 67(7): 411-419, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908140

ABSTRACT

Since severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19) was first reported in China in December 2019, various variants have been identified in different areas of the world such as United Kingdom (alpha), South Africa (beta and omicron), Brazil (gamma), and India (delta). Some of SARS-CoV-2 variants, each of which is characterized by a unique mutation(s) in spike protein, are concerned due to their high infectivity and the capability to escape from neutralizing antibodies elicited by vaccinations. To identify peptide epitopes that are derived from SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins and possibly induce CD8+ T cell immunity, we investigated SARS-CoV-2-derived peptides that are likely to bind to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. We identified a total of 15 peptides that bind to human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*24:02, HLA-A*02:01, or HLA-A*02:06, and possibly induce cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs); thirteen of them corresponded to ORF1ab polyprotein, one peptide to spike protein and the remaining one to membrane glycoprotein. CD8+ T cells that recognize these peptides were detected in peripheral blood samples in three individuals recovered from COVID-19 as well as non-infected individuals. Since most of these peptides are commonly conserved among other coronaviruses including SARS-CoV and/or MERS-CoV, these might be useful to maintain T cell responses to coronaviruses that are pandemic at present and will become the future threat. We could define pairs of TRA and TRB sequences of nine CTL clones that recognize SARS-CoV-2-derived peptides. We might use these SARS-CoV-2-derived peptide-reactive TCR sequences for investigating the history of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , HLA-A Antigens , Humans , Peptides/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
16.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2530: 19-31, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1905956

ABSTRACT

Native chemical ligation is a widely used technique for peptide fragment condensation in aqueous solutions, which has broken through the length limitation of traditional solid-phase peptide synthesis. It can achieve high-efficient chemical synthesis of proteins containing more than 300 amino acid residues. Peptide hydrazide, as a valuable reagent equivalent to a thioester peptide, can be easily and efficiently prepared by the Fmoc-based SPPS method and has been widely used in native chemical ligation. Here we take the chemical synthesis of a SARS-CoV-2 miniprotein inhibitor LCB1 as an example to describe the detailed procedure of hydrazide-based native chemical ligation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Hydrazines , Peptides/chemistry , Solid-Phase Synthesis Techniques
17.
J Virol ; 96(13): e0068122, 2022 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901926

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has substantially increased the risk to global public health. Multiple vaccines and neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) have been authorized for preventing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the emergence and spread of the viral variants may limit the effectiveness of these vaccines and antibodies. Fusion inhibitors targeting the HR1 domain of the viral S protein have been shown to broadly inhibit SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. In theory, peptide inhibitors targeting the HR2 domain of the S protein should also be able to inhibit viral infection. However, previously reported HR1-derived peptide inhibitors targeting the HR2 domain exhibit poor inhibitory activities. Here, we engineered a novel HR1 trimer (HR1MFd) by conjugating the trimerization motif foldon to the C terminus of the HR1-derived peptide. HR1MFd showed significantly improved inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs), SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV. Mechanistically, HR1MFd possesses markedly increased α-helicity, thermostability, higher HR2 domain binding affinity, and better inhibition of S protein-mediated cell-cell fusion compared to the HR1 peptide. Therefore, HR1MFd lays the foundation to develop HR1-based fusion inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2. IMPORTANCE Peptides derived from the SARS-CoV-2 HR1 region are generally poor inhibitors. Here, we constructed a trimeric peptide HR1MFd by fusing the trimerization motif foldon to the C terminus of the HR1 peptide. HR1MFd was highly effective in blocking transductions by SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-2 variants, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV pseudoviruses. In comparison with HR1M, HR1MFd adopted a much higher helical conformation, better thermostability, increased affinity to the viral HR2 domain, and better inhibition of S protein-mediated cell-cell fusion. Overall, HR1MFd provides the information to develop effective HR1-derived peptides as fusion inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Anti-Retroviral Agents , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
18.
Biomater Sci ; 10(15): 4037-4057, 2022 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900676

ABSTRACT

Vaccination is a proven way to protect individuals against many infectious diseases, as currently highlighted in the global COVID-19 pandemic. Peptides- or small molecule antigen-based vaccination offer advantages over the classical vaccine approaches. However, peptides or small molecules by themselves are generally not sufficiently immunogenic, and thus require an adjuvant to boost an immune response. Several conjugated systems have been developed in recent years to overcome this obstacle. This review summarises different moieties which, when conjugated to peptide antigens, facilitate a specific immune response. Different classes of self-adjuvant moieties are reviewed, including self-assembly peptides, lipids, glycolipids, and polymers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccine Development , Adjuvants, Immunologic/chemistry , Adjuvants, Pharmaceutic , Antigens , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , Peptides/chemistry
19.
Molecules ; 27(11)2022 Jun 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1892927

ABSTRACT

It is beyond doubt that short peptides hold significant promise in bio-medicine, as the most versatile molecules, both structurally and functionally [...].


Subject(s)
Medicine , Peptides , Peptides/chemistry
20.
Sci Data ; 9(1): 294, 2022 06 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890207

ABSTRACT

Since 2019, the novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) disease (COVID-19) has caused a worldwide epidemic. Anti-coronavirus peptides (ACovPs), a type of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), have demonstrated excellent inhibitory effects on coronaviruses. However, state-of-the-art AMP databases contain only a small number of ACovPs. Additionally, the fields of these databases are not uniform, and the units or evaluation standards of the same field are inconsistent. Most of these databases have not included the target domains of ACovPs and description of in vitro and in vivo assays to measure the inhibitory effects of ACovPs. Here, we present a database focused on ACovPs (ACovPepDB), which contains comprehensive and precise ACovPs information of 518 entries with 214 unique ACovPs manually collected from public databases and published peer-reviewed articles. We believe that ACovPepDB is of great significance for facilitating the development of new peptides and improving treatment for coronavirus infection. The database will become a portal for ACovPs and guide and help researchers perform further studies. The ACovPepDB is available at http://i.uestc.edu.cn/ACovPepDB/ .


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Databases, Chemical , Humans , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/pharmacology , Peptides/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
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