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1.
J Virol ; 94(13)2020 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-760222

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
2.
J Phys Chem B ; 124(34): 7336-7347, 2020 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-752578

ABSTRACT

The 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic, which was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. Genetically, SARS-CoV-2 is closely related to SARS-CoV, which caused a global epidemic with 8096 confirmed cases in more than 25 countries from 2002 to 2003. Given the significant morbidity and mortality rate, the current pandemic poses a danger to all of humanity, prompting us to understand the activity of SARS-CoV-2 at the atomic level. Experimental studies have revealed that spike proteins of both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV bind to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) before entering the cell for replication. However, the binding affinities reported by different groups seem to contradict each other. Wrapp et al. (Science 2020, 367, 1260-1263) showed that the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 binds to the ACE2 peptidase domain (ACE2-PD) more strongly than does SARS-CoV, and this fact may be associated with a greater severity of the new virus. However, Walls et al. (Cell 2020, 181, 281-292) reported that SARS-CoV-2 exhibits a higher binding affinity, but the difference between the two variants is relatively small. To understand the binding mechnism and experimental results, we investigated how the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV (SARS-CoV-RBD) and SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2-RBD) interacts with a human ACE2-PD using molecular modeling. We applied a coarse-grained model to calculate the dissociation constant and found that SARS-CoV-2 displays a 2-fold higher binding affinity. Using steered all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, we demonstrate that, like a coarse-grained simulation, SARS-CoV-2-RBD was associated with ACE2-PD more strongly than was SARS-CoV-RBD, as evidenced by a higher rupture force and larger pulling work. We show that the binding affinity of both viruses to ACE2 is driven by electrostatic interactions.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS Virus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Static Electricity
3.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 4252, 2020 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-741685

ABSTRACT

The 2019 novel respiratory virus (SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19 with rapid global socioeconomic disruptions and disease burden to healthcare. The COVID-19 and previous emerging virus outbreaks highlight the urgent need for broad-spectrum antivirals. Here, we show that a defensin-like peptide P9R exhibited potent antiviral activity against pH-dependent viruses that require endosomal acidification for virus infection, including the enveloped pandemic A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV), and the non-enveloped rhinovirus. P9R can significantly protect mice from lethal challenge by A(H1N1)pdm09 virus and shows low possibility to cause drug-resistant virus. Mechanistic studies indicate that the antiviral activity of P9R depends on the direct binding to viruses and the inhibition of virus-host endosomal acidification, which provides a proof of concept that virus-binding alkaline peptides can broadly inhibit pH-dependent viruses. These results suggest that the dual-functional virus- and host-targeting P9R can be a promising candidate for combating pH-dependent respiratory viruses.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/drug effects , Influenza A virus/drug effects , Peptides/pharmacology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Cell Line , Endosomes/chemistry , Endosomes/drug effects , Female , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Influenza A virus/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/drug therapy , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/metabolism , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/metabolism , Peptides/therapeutic use , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Rhinovirus/drug effects , Rhinovirus/metabolism , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
4.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 11(15): 6262-6265, 2020 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-741662

ABSTRACT

The question of whether COVID protease (SARS-CoV-2 Mpro) can be blocked by inhibitors has been examined, with a particularly successful performance exhibited by α-ketoamide derivative substrates like 13b of Hilgenfeld and co-workers (Zhang, L., et al. Science 2020, 368, 409-412). After the biological characterization, here density functional theory calculations explain not only how inhibitor 13b produces a thermodynamically favorable interaction but also how to reach it kinetically. The controversial and unprovable concept of aromaticity here enjoys being the agent that rationalizes the seemingly innocent role of histidine (His41 of Mpro). It has a hydrogen bond with the hydroxyl group and is the proton carrier of the thiol of Cys145 at almost zero energy cost that favors the interaction with the inhibitor that acts as a Michael acceptor.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Histidine/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Binding Sites , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Density Functional Theory , Hydrogen Bonding , Ketones/chemistry , Ketones/metabolism , Models, Chemical , Pandemics , Protein Binding , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
5.
Molecules ; 25(17)2020 Aug 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-740497

ABSTRACT

A pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) began in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and the number of newly reported cases continues to increase. More than 19.7 million cases have been reported globally and about 728,000 have died as of this writing (10 August 2020). Recently, it has been confirmed that the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) enzyme is responsible not only for viral reproduction but also impedes host immune responses. The Mpro provides a highly favorable pharmacological target for the discovery and design of inhibitors. Currently, no specific therapies are available, and investigations into the treatment of COVID-19 are lacking. Therefore, herein, we analyzed the bioactive phytocompounds isolated by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) from Tinospora crispa as potential COVID-19 Mpro inhibitors, using molecular docking study. Our analyses unveiled that the top nine hits might serve as potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 lead molecules, with three of them exerting biological activity and warranting further optimization and drug development to combat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Phytochemicals/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Tinospora/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/classification , Antiviral Agents/isolation & purification , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/genetics , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Discovery , Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry , Gene Expression , Humans , Kinetics , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Phytochemicals/classification , Phytochemicals/isolation & purification , Phytochemicals/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Protease Inhibitors/classification , Protease Inhibitors/isolation & purification , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Protein Structure, Secondary , Substrate Specificity , Thermodynamics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
6.
Molecules ; 25(17)2020 Aug 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-737517

ABSTRACT

Three types of new coronaviruses (CoVs) have been identified recently as the causative viruses for the severe pneumonia-like respiratory illnesses, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and corona-virus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Neither therapeutic agents nor vaccines have been developed to date, which is a major drawback in controlling the present global pandemic of COVID-19 caused by SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has resulted in more than 20,439,814 cases and 744,385 deaths. Each of the 3C-like (3CL) proteases of the three CoVs is essential for the proliferation of the CoVs, and an inhibitor of the 3CL protease (3CLpro) is thought to be an ideal therapeutic agent against SARS, MERS, or COVID-19. Among these, SARS-CoV is the first corona-virus isolated and has been studied in detail since the first pandemic in 2003. This article briefly reviews a series of studies on SARS-CoV, focusing on the development of inhibitors for the SARS-CoV 3CLpro based on molecular interactions with the 3CL protease. Our recent approach, based on the structure-based rational design of a novel scaffold for SARS-CoV 3CLpro inhibitor, is also included. The achievements summarized in this short review would be useful for the design of a variety of novel inhibitors for corona-viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/classification , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/genetics , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Humans , Kinetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Protease Inhibitors/classification , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/metabolism , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/drug therapy , Substrate Specificity , Thermodynamics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
7.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 4303, 2020 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733523

ABSTRACT

The novel highly transmissible human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus far, there is no approved therapeutic drug specifically targeting this emerging virus. Here we report the isolation and characterization of a panel of human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD). These antibodies were selected from a phage display library constructed using peripheral circulatory lymphocytes collected from patients at the acute phase of the disease. These neutralizing antibodies are shown to recognize distinct epitopes on the viral spike RBD. A subset of the antibodies exert their inhibitory activity by abrogating binding of the RBD to the human ACE2 receptor. The human monoclonal antibodies described here represent a promising basis for the design of efficient combined post-exposure therapy for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes , Humans , Peptide Library , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
8.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 14214, 2020 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733506

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a major public health concern. A handful of static structures now provide molecular insights into how SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV interact with its host target, which is the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Molecular recognition, binding and function are dynamic processes. To evaluate this, multiple 500 ns or 1 µs all-atom molecular dynamics simulations were performed to better understand the structural stability and interfacial interactions between the receptor binding domain of the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV bound to ACE2. Several contacts were observed to form, break and reform in the interface during the simulations. Our results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV utilizes unique strategies to achieve stable binding to ACE2. Several differences were observed between the residues of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV that consistently interacted with ACE2. Notably, a stable salt bridge between Lys417 of SARS-CoV-2 S protein and Asp30 of ACE2 as well as three stable hydrogen bonds between Tyr449, Gln493 and Gln498 of SARS-CoV-2 and Asp38, Glu35 and Lys353 of ACE2 were observed, which were absent in the ACE2-SARS-CoV interface. Some previously reported residues, which were suggested to enhance the binding affinity of SARS-CoV-2, were not observed to form stable interactions in these simulations. Molecular mechanics-generalized Born surface area based free energy of binding was observed to be higher for SARS-CoV-2 in all simulations. Stable binding to the host receptor is crucial for virus entry. Therefore, special consideration should be given to these stable interactions while designing potential drugs and treatment modalities to target or disrupt this interface.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS Virus/physiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Binding Sites , Conserved Sequence , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
9.
Molecules ; 25(17)2020 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-727434

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak caused an unprecedented global public health threat, having a high transmission rate with currently no drugs or vaccines approved. An alternative powerful additional approach to counteract COVID-19 is in silico drug repurposing. The SARS-CoV-2 main protease is essential for viral replication and an attractive drug target. In this study, we used the virtual screening protocol with both long-range and short-range interactions to select candidate SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors. First, the Informational spectrum method applied for small molecules was used for searching the Drugbank database and further followed by molecular docking. After in silico screening of drug space, we identified 57 drugs as potential SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors that we propose for further experimental testing.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Mezlocillin/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Raltegravir Potassium/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Allosteric Site , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/enzymology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/genetics , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Repositioning , Gene Expression , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Mezlocillin/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/enzymology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Raltegravir Potassium/pharmacology , Thermodynamics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
10.
Molecules ; 25(17)2020 Aug 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-727433

ABSTRACT

Presently, there are no approved drugs or vaccines to treat COVID-19, which has spread to over 200 countries and at the time of writing was responsible for over 650,000 deaths worldwide. Recent studies have shown that two human proteases, TMPRSS2 and cathepsin L, play a key role in host cell entry of SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, inhibitors of these proteases were shown to block SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we perform virtual screening of 14,011 phytochemicals produced by Indian medicinal plants to identify natural product inhibitors of TMPRSS2 and cathepsin L. AutoDock Vina was used to perform molecular docking of phytochemicals against TMPRSS2 and cathepsin L. Potential phytochemical inhibitors were filtered by comparing their docked binding energies with those of known inhibitors of TMPRSS2 and cathepsin L. Further, the ligand binding site residues and non-covalent interactions between protein and ligand were used as an additional filter to identify phytochemical inhibitors that either bind to or form interactions with residues important for the specificity of the target proteases. This led to the identification of 96 inhibitors of TMPRSS2 and 9 inhibitors of cathepsin L among phytochemicals of Indian medicinal plants. Further, we have performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to analyze the stability of the protein-ligand complexes for the three top inhibitors of TMPRSS2 namely, qingdainone, edgeworoside C and adlumidine, and of cathepsin L namely, ararobinol, (+)-oxoturkiyenine and 3α,17α-cinchophylline. Interestingly, several herbal sources of identified phytochemical inhibitors have antiviral or anti-inflammatory use in traditional medicine. Further in vitro and in vivo testing is needed before clinical trials of the promising phytochemical inhibitors identified here.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Cathepsin L/chemistry , Phytochemicals/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Serine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Amino Acid Sequence , Antiviral Agents/isolation & purification , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Binding Sites , Cathepsin L/antagonists & inhibitors , Cathepsin L/genetics , Cathepsin L/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/enzymology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coumarins/chemistry , Coumarins/isolation & purification , Coumarins/pharmacology , Gene Expression , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , India , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Monosaccharides/chemistry , Monosaccharides/isolation & purification , Monosaccharides/pharmacology , Pandemics , Phytochemicals/isolation & purification , Phytochemicals/pharmacology , Plants, Medicinal/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/enzymology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protease Inhibitors/isolation & purification , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Quinazolines/chemistry , Quinazolines/isolation & purification , Quinazolines/pharmacology , Receptors, Virus/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Thermodynamics , Virus Internalization/drug effects
11.
J Transl Med ; 18(1): 321, 2020 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-727282

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), through its surface spike glycoprotein (S-protein) recognition on the receptor Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in humans. However, it remains unclear how genetic variations in ACE2 may affect its function and structure, and consequently alter the recognition by SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We have systemically characterized missense variants in the gene ACE2 using data from the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD; N = 141,456). To investigate the putative deleterious role of missense variants, six existing functional prediction tools were applied to evaluate their impact. We further analyzed the structural flexibility of ACE2 and its protein-protein interface with the S-protein of SARS-CoV-2 using our developed Legion Interfaces Analysis (LiAn) program. RESULTS: Here, we characterized a total of 12 ACE2 putative deleterious missense variants. Of those 12 variants, we further showed that p.His378Arg could directly weaken the binding of catalytic metal atom to decrease ACE2 activity and p.Ser19Pro could distort the most important helix to the S-protein. Another seven missense variants may affect secondary structures (i.e. p.Gly211Arg; p.Asp206Gly; p.Arg219Cys; p.Arg219His, p.Lys341Arg, p.Ile468Val, and p.Ser547Cys), whereas p.Ile468Val with AF = 0.01 is only present in Asian. CONCLUSIONS: We provide strong evidence of putative deleterious missense variants in ACE2 that are present in specific populations, which could disrupt the function and structure of ACE2. These findings provide novel insight into the genetic variation in ACE2 which may affect the SARS-CoV-2 recognition and infection, and COVID-19 susceptibility and treatment.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Mutation, Missense , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Substitution , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , DNA Mutational Analysis/methods , Databases, Genetic , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/ethnology , Genetic Variation , Geography , Humans , Models, Molecular , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Protein Binding , Protein Structure, Secondary/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Internalization
12.
J Chem Phys ; 153(7): 075101, 2020 Aug 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-726966

ABSTRACT

In 2020, the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected millions of people worldwide and caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Spike (S) glycoproteins on the viral membrane bind to ACE2 receptors on the host cell membrane and initiate fusion, and S protein is currently among the primary drug target to inhibit viral entry. The S protein can be in a receptor inaccessible (closed) or accessible (open) state based on down and up positions of its receptor-binding domain (RBD), respectively. However, conformational dynamics and the transition pathway between closed to open states remain unexplored. Here, we performed all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations starting from closed and open states of the S protein trimer in the presence of explicit water and ions. MD simulations showed that RBD forms a higher number of interdomain interactions and exhibits lower mobility in its down position than its up position. MD simulations starting from intermediate conformations between the open and closed states indicated that RBD switches to the up position through a semi-open intermediate that potentially reduces the free energy barrier between the closed and open states. Free energy landscapes were constructed, and a minimum energy pathway connecting the closed and open states was proposed. Because RBD-ACE2 binding is compatible with the semi-open state, but not with the closed state of the S protein, we propose that the formation of the intermediate state is a prerequisite for the host cell recognition.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Binding Sites , Hydrogen Bonding , Models, Chemical , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Principal Component Analysis , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Thermodynamics
13.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 4198, 2020 08 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724360

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 has become a global pandemic requiring the development of interventions for the prevention or treatment to curtail mortality and morbidity. No vaccine to boost mucosal immunity, or as a therapeutic, has yet been developed to SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we discover and characterize a cross-reactive human IgA monoclonal antibody, MAb362. MAb362 binds to both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and competitively blocks ACE2 receptor binding, by overlapping the ACE2 structural binding epitope. Furthermore, MAb362 IgA neutralizes both pseudotyped SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 in 293 cells expressing ACE2. When converted to secretory IgA, MAb326 also neutralizes authentic SARS-CoV-2 virus while the IgG isotype shows no neutralization. Our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 specific IgA antibodies, such as MAb362, may provide effective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 by inducing mucosal immunity within the respiratory system, a potentially critical feature of an effective vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/metabolism , Immunoglobulin A, Secretory/immunology , Immunoglobulin A, Secretory/metabolism , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS Virus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
14.
Front Immunol ; 11: 1664, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724205

ABSTRACT

The rapidly spreading, highly contagious and pathogenic SARS-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) associated Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The novel 2019 SARS-CoV-2 enters the host cell by binding of the viral surface spike glycoprotein (S-protein) to cellular angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. The virus specific molecular interaction with the host cell represents a promising therapeutic target for identifying SARS-CoV-2 antiviral drugs. The repurposing of drugs can provide a rapid and potential cure toward exponentially expanding COVID-19. Thereto, high throughput virtual screening approach was used to investigate FDA approved LOPAC library drugs against both the receptor binding domain of spike protein (S-RBD) and ACE2 host cell receptor. Primary screening identified a few promising molecules for both the targets, which were further analyzed in details by their binding energy, binding modes through molecular docking, dynamics and simulations. Evidently, GR 127935 hydrochloride hydrate, GNF-5, RS504393, TNP, and eptifibatide acetate were found binding to virus binding motifs of ACE2 receptor. Additionally, KT203, BMS195614, KT185, RS504393, and GSK1838705A were identified to bind at the receptor binding site on the viral S-protein. These identified molecules may effectively assist in controlling the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 by not only potentially inhibiting the virus at entry step but are also hypothesized to act as anti-inflammatory agents, which could impart relief in lung inflammation. Timely identification and determination of an effective drug to combat and tranquilize the COVID-19 global crisis is the utmost need of hour. Further, prompt in vivo testing to validate the anti-SARS-CoV-2 inhibition efficiency by these molecules could save lives is justified.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , User-Computer Interface , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Models, Genetic , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Attachment
15.
Viruses ; 12(9)2020 08 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721525

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 novel coronavirus (CoV) disease caused by severe acquired respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 manifests severe lethal respiratory illness in humans and has recently developed into a worldwide pandemic. The lack of effective treatment strategy and vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 poses a threat to human health. An extremely high infection rate and multi-organ secondary infection within a short period of time makes this virus more deadly and challenging for therapeutic interventions. Despite high sequence similarity and utilization of common host-cell receptor, human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) for virus entry, SARS-CoV-2 is much more infectious than SARS-CoV. Structure-based sequence comparison of the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the spike protein of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 illustrate three divergent loop regions in SARS-CoV-2, which is reminiscent of MERS-CoV sialoside binding pockets. Comparative binding analysis with host sialosides revealed conformational flexibility of SARS-CoV-2 divergent loop regions to accommodate diverse glycan-rich sialosides. These key differences with SARS-CoV and similarity with MERS-CoV suggest an evolutionary adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein reciprocal interaction with host surface sialosides to infect host cells with wide tissue tropism.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/chemistry , Sialic Acids/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Amino Sugars/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Binding Sites , Models, Molecular , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , N-Acetylneuraminic Acid/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS Virus/chemistry , Sialyl Lewis X Antigen/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Tropism , Virus Internalization
16.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 13866, 2020 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-720849

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus has rapidly spread in humans, causing the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Recent studies have shown that, similarly to SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 utilises the Spike glycoprotein on the envelope to recognise and bind the human receptor ACE2. This event initiates the fusion of viral and host cell membranes and then the viral entry into the host cell. Despite several ongoing clinical studies, there are currently no approved vaccines or drugs that specifically target SARS-CoV-2. Until an effective vaccine is available, repurposing FDA approved drugs could significantly shorten the time and reduce the cost compared to de novo drug discovery. In this study we attempted to overcome the limitation of in silico virtual screening by applying a robust in silico drug repurposing strategy. We combined and integrated docking simulations, with molecular dynamics (MD), Supervised MD (SuMD) and Steered MD (SMD) simulations to identify a Spike protein - ACE2 interaction inhibitor. Our data showed that Simeprevir and Lumacaftor bind the receptor-binding domain of the Spike protein with high affinity and prevent ACE2 interaction.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Computational Biology/methods , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Drug Discovery/methods , Drug Repositioning/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Aminopyridines/pharmacology , Benzodioxoles/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Binding Sites , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains/drug effects , Protein Interaction Maps/drug effects , Simeprevir/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
17.
Clin Immunol ; 219: 108572, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-713545

ABSTRACT

Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) includes a large set of genes with important actions in immune response against viral infection. Numerous studies have revealed the existence of significant associations between certain HLA alleles and the susceptibility and prognosis of different infectious diseases. In this pilot study we analyse the binding affinity between 66 class I HLA alleles and SARS-CoV-2 viral peptides, and its association with the severity of the disease. A total of 45 Spanish patients with mild, moderate and severe SARS-CoV-2 infection were typed for HLA class I; after that, we analysed if an in silico model of HLA I-viral peptide binding affinity and classical HLA supertypes could be correlated to the severity of the disease. Our results suggest that patients with mild disease present Class I HLA molecules with a higher theoretical capacity for binding SARS-Cov-2 peptides and showed greater heterozygosity when comparing them with moderate and severe groups. In this regard, identifying HLA-SARS-CoV-2 peptides binding differences between individuals would help to clarify the heterogeneity of clinical responses to the disease and will also be useful to guide a personalized treatment according to its particular risk.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Adult , Aged , Alleles , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Progression , Female , Gene Expression , Gene Frequency , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/classification , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Peptides/genetics , Peptides/immunology , Pilot Projects , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding , Severity of Illness Index , Spain , Viral Proteins/immunology
18.
Anal Chem ; 92(17): 11520-11524, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-713341

ABSTRACT

The traditional approach for analyzing interaction data from biosensors instruments is based on the simplified assumption that also larger biomolecules interactions are homogeneous. It was recently reported that the human receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) plays a key role for capturing SARS-CoV-2 into the human target body, and binding studies were performed using biosensors techniques based on surface plasmon resonance and bio-layer interferometry. The published affinity constants for the interactions, derived using the traditional approach, described a single interaction between ACE2 and the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD). We reanalyzed these data sets using our advanced four-step approach based on an adaptive interaction distribution algorithm (AIDA) that accounts for the great complexity of larger biomolecules and gives a two-dimensional distribution of association and dissociation rate constants. Our results showed that in both cases the standard assumption about a single interaction was erroneous, and in one of the cases, the value of the affinity constant KD differed more than 300% between the reported value and our calculation. This information can prove very useful in providing mechanistic information and insights about the mechanism of interactions between ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 RBD or similar systems.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Interferometry/statistics & numerical data , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Surface Plasmon Resonance/statistics & numerical data , Algorithms , Humans , Kinetics , Ligands , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
19.
PLoS One ; 15(8): e0237559, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-709369

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The world is going through the critical phase of COVID-19 pandemic, caused by human coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Worldwide concerted effort to identify viral genomic changes across different sub-types has identified several strong changes in the coding region. However, there have not been many studies focusing on the variations in the 5' and 3' untranslated regions and their consequences. Considering the possible importance of these regions in host mediated regulation of viral RNA genome, we wanted to explore the phenomenon. METHODS: To have an idea of the global changes in 5' and 3'-UTR sequences, we downloaded 8595 complete and high-coverage SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence information from human host in FASTA format from Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) from 15 different geographical regions. Next, we aligned them using Clustal Omega software and investigated the UTR variants. We also looked at the putative host RNA binding protein (RBP) and microRNA binding sites in these regions by 'RBPmap' and 'RNA22 v2' respectively. Expression status of selected RBPs and microRNAs were checked in lungs tissue. RESULTS: We identified 28 unique variants in SARS-CoV-2 UTR region based on a minimum variant percentage cut-off of 0.5. Along with 241C>T change the important 5'-UTR change identified was 187A>G, while 29734G>C, 29742G>A/T and 29774C>T were the most familiar variants of 3'UTR among most of the continents. Furthermore, we found that despite the variations in the UTR regions, binding of host RBP to them remains mostly unaltered, which further influenced the functioning of specific miRNAs. CONCLUSION: Our results, shows for the first time in SARS-Cov-2 infection, a possible cross-talk between host RBPs-miRNAs and viral UTR variants, which ultimately could explain the mechanism of escaping host RNA decay machinery by the virus. The knowledge might be helpful in developing anti-viral compounds in future.


Subject(s)
3' Untranslated Regions/genetics , 5' Untranslated Regions/genetics , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Genome, Viral/genetics , Genomic Instability/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Base Sequence , Binding Sites , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding/genetics
20.
ACS Nano ; 14(8): 10616-10623, 2020 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696515

ABSTRACT

The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein plays a crucial role in binding the human cell receptor ACE2 that is required for viral entry. Many studies have been conducted to target the structures of RBD-ACE2 binding and to design RBD-targeting vaccines and drugs. Nevertheless, mutations distal from the SARS-CoV-2 RBD also impact its transmissibility and antibody can target non-RBD regions, suggesting the incomplete role of the RBD region in the spike protein-ACE2 binding. Here, in order to elucidate distant binding mechanisms, we analyze complexes of ACE2 with the wild-type spike protein and with key mutants via large-scale all-atom explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulations. We find that though distributed approximately 10 nm away from the RBD, the SARS-CoV-2 polybasic cleavage sites enhance, via electrostatic interactions and hydration, the RBD-ACE2 binding affinity. A negatively charged tetrapeptide (GluGluLeuGlu) is then designed to neutralize the positively charged arginine on the polybasic cleavage sites. We find that the tetrapeptide GluGluLeuGlu binds to one of the three polybasic cleavage sites of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein lessening by 34% the RBD-ACE2 binding strength. This significant binding energy reduction demonstrates the feasibility to neutralize RBD-ACE2 binding by targeting this specific polybasic cleavage site. Our work enhances understanding of the binding mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 to ACE2, which may aid the design of therapeutics for COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Substitution , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , Drug Design , Host Microbial Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Oligopeptides/chemistry , Oligopeptides/pharmacology , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Binding/physiology , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virus Internalization
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