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1.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 2379, 2023 04 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304648

ABSTRACT

The self-assembly of the Nucleocapsid protein (NCAP) of SARS-CoV-2 is crucial for its function. Computational analysis of the amino acid sequence of NCAP reveals low-complexity domains (LCDs) akin to LCDs in other proteins known to self-assemble as phase separation droplets and amyloid fibrils. Previous reports have described NCAP's propensity to phase-separate. Here we show that the central LCD of NCAP is capable of both, phase separation and amyloid formation. Within this central LCD we identified three adhesive segments and determined the atomic structure of the fibrils formed by each. Those structures guided the design of G12, a peptide that interferes with the self-assembly of NCAP and demonstrates antiviral activity in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. Our work, therefore, demonstrates the amyloid form of the central LCD of NCAP and suggests that amyloidogenic segments of NCAP could be targeted for drug development.


Subject(s)
Amyloid , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Humans , Amyloid/metabolism , Amyloidogenic Proteins , Nucleocapsid Proteins , Peptides/chemistry , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
2.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 2890, 2023 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2268916

ABSTRACT

Replication of the coronavirus genome starts with the formation of viral RNA-containing double-membrane vesicles (DMV) following viral entry into the host cell. The multi-domain nonstructural protein 3 (nsp3) is the largest protein encoded by the known coronavirus genome and serves as a central component of the viral replication and transcription machinery. Previous studies demonstrated that the highly-conserved C-terminal region of nsp3 is essential for subcellular membrane rearrangement, yet the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here we report the crystal structure of the CoV-Y domain, the most C-terminal domain of the SARS-CoV-2 nsp3, at 2.4 Å-resolution. CoV-Y adopts a previously uncharacterized V-shaped fold featuring three distinct subdomains. Sequence alignment and structure prediction suggest that this fold is likely shared by the CoV-Y domains from closely related nsp3 homologs. NMR-based fragment screening combined with molecular docking identifies surface cavities in CoV-Y for interaction with potential ligands and other nsps. These studies provide the first structural view on a complete nsp3 CoV-Y domain, and the molecular framework for understanding the architecture, assembly and function of the nsp3 C-terminal domains in coronavirus replication. Our work illuminates nsp3 as a potential target for therapeutic interventions to aid in the on-going battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and diseases caused by other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Protein Domains , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
3.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(4): 100228, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2247733

ABSTRACT

Considerable concerns relating to the duration of protective immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) exist, with evidence of antibody titers declining rapidly after infection and reports of reinfection. Here, we monitor the antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) for up to 6 months after infection. While antibody titers are maintained, ∼13% of the cohort's neutralizing responses return to background. However, encouragingly, in a selected subset of 13 participants, 12 have detectable RBD-specific memory B cells and these generally are increasing out to 6 months. Furthermore, we are able to generate monoclonal antibodies with SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing capacity from these memory B cells. Overall, our study suggests that the loss of neutralizing antibodies in plasma may be countered by the maintenance of neutralizing capacity in the memory B cell repertoire.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Memory B Cells/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Limit of Detection , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Time Factors , Young Adult
4.
Science ; 379(6631): 427-428, 2023 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2245063
5.
Nature ; 614(7948): 521-529, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2239514

ABSTRACT

Continuous evolution of Omicron has led to a rapid and simultaneous emergence of numerous variants that display growth advantages over BA.5 (ref. 1). Despite their divergent evolutionary courses, mutations on their receptor-binding domain (RBD) converge on several hotspots. The driving force and destination of such sudden convergent evolution and its effect on humoral immunity remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that these convergent mutations can cause evasion of neutralizing antibody drugs and convalescent plasma, including those from BA.5 breakthrough infection, while maintaining sufficient ACE2-binding capability. BQ.1.1.10 (BQ.1.1 + Y144del), BA.4.6.3, XBB and CH.1.1 are the most antibody-evasive strains tested. To delineate the origin of the convergent evolution, we determined the escape mutation profiles and neutralization activity of monoclonal antibodies isolated from individuals who had BA.2 and BA.5 breakthrough infections2,3. Owing to humoral immune imprinting, BA.2 and especially BA.5 breakthrough infection reduced the diversity of the neutralizing antibody binding sites and increased proportions of non-neutralizing antibody clones, which, in turn, focused humoral immune pressure and promoted convergent evolution in the RBD. Moreover, we show that the convergent RBD mutations could be accurately inferred by deep mutational scanning profiles4,5, and the evolution trends of BA.2.75 and BA.5 subvariants could be well foreseen through constructed convergent pseudovirus mutants. These results suggest that current herd immunity and BA.5 vaccine boosters may not efficiently prevent the infection of Omicron convergent variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Antigenic Drift and Shift , COVID-19 , Evolution, Molecular , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Breakthrough Infections/immunology , Breakthrough Infections/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serotherapy , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , Antigenic Drift and Shift/immunology , Mutation
6.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 51(1): 290-303, 2023 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2189413

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein performs several functions including binding, compacting, and packaging the ∼30 kb viral genome into the viral particle. N protein consists of two ordered domains, with the N terminal domain (NTD) primarily associated with RNA binding and the C terminal domain (CTD) primarily associated with dimerization/oligomerization, and three intrinsically disordered regions, an N-arm, a C-tail, and a linker that connects the NTD and CTD. We utilize an optical tweezers system to isolate a long single-stranded nucleic acid substrate to measure directly the binding and packaging function of N protein at a single molecule level in real time. We find that N protein binds the nucleic acid substrate with high affinity before oligomerizing and forming a highly compact structure. By comparing the activities of truncated protein variants missing the NTD, CTD, and/or linker, we attribute specific steps in this process to the structural domains of N protein, with the NTD driving initial binding to the substrate and ensuring high localized protein density that triggers interprotein interactions mediated by the CTD, which forms a compact and stable protein-nucleic acid complex suitable for packaging into the virion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/virology , Protein Domains , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism
7.
Microb Pathog ; 176: 105994, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2181626

ABSTRACT

The development of clinically actionable pharmaceuticals against coronavirus disease (COVID-19); an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is very important for ending the pandemic. Coronavirus spike glycoprotein (GP)-Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) and its interaction with host receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is one of the most structurally understood but therapeutically untapped aspect of COVID-19 pathogenesis. Binding interface based on previous x-ray structure of RBD/ACE2 were virtually screened to identify fragments with high-binding score from 12,000 chemical building blocks. The hit compound was subjected to fingerprint-based similarity search to identify compounds within the FDA-approved drug library containing the same core scaffold. Identified compounds were then re-docked into of RBD/ACE2. The best ranked compound was validated for RBD/ACE2 inhibition using commercial kit. Molecular dynamics simulation was conducted to provide further insight into the mechanism of inhibition. From the original 12000 chemical building blocks, benzimidazole (BAZ) scaffold was identified. Fingerprint-based similarity search of the FDA-approved drug library for BAZ-containing compounds identified 12 drugs with the benzimidazole-like substructure. When these compounds were re-docked into GP/ACE2 interface, the consensus docking identified bazedoxifene as the hit. In vitro RBD/ACE2 inhibition kinetics showed micromolar IC50 value (1.237 µM) in the presence of bazedoxifene. Molecular dynamics simulation of RBD/ACE2 in the presence BAZ resulted in loss of contact and specific hydrogen-bond interaction required for RBD/ACE2 stability. Taken together, these findings identified benzimidazole scaffold as a building block for developing novel RBD/ACE2 complex inhibitor and provided mechanistic basis for the use of bazedoxifene as a repurposable drug for the treatment of COVID-19 acting at RBD/ACE2 interface.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Binding Sites , Protein Domains , Protein Binding , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Benzimidazoles , Molecular Docking Simulation
8.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 641: 61-66, 2023 01 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2149376

ABSTRACT

Several SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest (VOI) have emerged since this virus was first identified as the etiologic agent responsible for COVID-19. Some of these variants have demonstrated differences in both virulence and transmissibility, as well as in evasion of immune responses in hosts vaccinated against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. There remains a lack of definitive evidence that identifies the genetic elements that are responsible for the differences in transmissibility among these variants. One factor affecting transmissibility is the initial binding of the surface spike protein (SP) of SARS-CoV-2 to human angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (hACE2), the widely accepted receptor for SP. This step in the viral replication process is mediated by the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SP that is located on the surface of the virus. This current study was conducted with the aim of assessing potential differences in binding affinity between recombinant hACE2 and the RBDs of emergent SARS-CoV-2 WHO VOIs. Mutations that affect the binding affinity of SP play a dominant initial role in the infectivity of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Membrane Proteins , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains
9.
Viruses ; 14(12)2022 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2163625

ABSTRACT

The spike protein is key to SARS-CoV-2 high infectivity because it facilitates the receptor binding domain (RBD) encounter with ACE2. As targeting subunit S1 has not yet delivered an ACE2-binding inhibitor, we have assessed the druggability of the conserved segment of the spike protein stalk within subunit S2 by means of an integrated computational approach that combines the molecular docking of an optimized library of fragments with high-throughput molecular dynamics simulations. The high propensity of the spike protein to mutate in key regions that are responsible for the recognition of the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) or for the recognition of antibodies, has made subunit S1 of the spike protein difficult to target. Despite the inherent flexibility of the stalk region, our results suggest two hidden interhelical binding sites, whose accessibility is only partially hampered by glycan residues.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Domains , Protein Binding , Molecular Dynamics Simulation
10.
Biomolecules ; 12(12)2022 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2154889

ABSTRACT

A de novo assembly algorithm is provided to propose the assembly of bitopic transmembrane domains (TMDs) of membrane proteins. The algorithm is probed using, in particular, viral channel forming proteins (VCPs) such as M2 of influenza A virus, E protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus (SARS-CoV), 6K of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), SH of human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV), and Vpu of human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2). The generation of the structures is based on screening a 7-dimensional space. Assembly of the TMDs can be achieved either by simultaneously docking the individual TMDs or via a sequential docking. Scoring based on estimated binding energies (EBEs) of the oligomeric structures is obtained by the tilt to decipher the handedness of the bundles. The bundles match especially well for all-atom models of M2 referring to an experimentally reported tetrameric bundle. Docking of helical poly-peptides to experimental structures of M2 and E protein identifies improving EBEs for positively charged (K,R,H) and aromatic amino acids (F,Y,W). Data are improved when using polypeptides for which the coordinates of the amino acids are adapted to the Cα coordinates of the respective experimentally derived structures of the TMDs of the target proteins.


Subject(s)
Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptides , Viroporin Proteins , Humans , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Peptides/chemistry , Protein Structure, Tertiary , Viroporin Proteins/chemistry , Protein Domains
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(23)2022 Dec 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2143241

ABSTRACT

A state of immunothrombosis has been reported in COVID-19. Platelets actively participate in this process. However, little is known about the ability of SARS-CoV-2 virus proteins to induce platelet activity. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) was incubated with spike full-length protein and the RBD domain in independent assays. We evaluated platelet activation through the expression of P-selectin and activation of glicoprotein IIbIIIa (GP IIbIIIa), determined by flow cytometry and the ability of the proteins to induce platelet aggregation. We determined concentrations of immunothrombotic biomarkers in PRP supernatant treated with the proteins. We determined that the spike full-length proteins and the RBD domain induced an increase in P-selectin expression and GP IIbIIIa activation (p < 0.0001). We observed that the proteins did not induce platelet aggregation, but favored a pro-aggregating state that, in response to minimal doses of collagen, could re-establish the process (p < 0.0001). On the other hand, the viral proteins stimulated the release of interleukin 6, interleukin 8, P-selectin and the soluble fraction of CD40 ligand (sCD40L), molecules that favor an inflammatory state p < 0.05. These results indicate that the spike full-length protein and its RBD domain can induce platelet activation favoring an inflammatory phenotype that might contribute to the development of an immunothrombotic state.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Blood Platelets/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Platelet Activation , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Protein Domains
12.
Biomolecules ; 12(12)2022 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2123516

ABSTRACT

Since its first appearance in April 2021, B.1.617.2, also termed variant Delta, catalyzed one major worldwide wave dominating the second year of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite its quick disappearance worldwide, the strong virulence caused by a few point mutations remains an unsolved problem largely. Along with the other two sublineages, the Delta variant harbors an accumulation of Spike protein mutations, including the previously identified L452R, E484Q, and the newly emerged T478K on its receptor binding domain (RBD). We used molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, in combination with free energy perturbation (FEP) calculations, to examine the effects of two combinative mutation sets, L452R + E484Q and L452R + T478K. Our dynamic trajectories reveal an enhancement in binding affinity between mutated RBD and the common receptor protein angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) through a net increase in the buried molecular surface area of the binary complex. This enhanced binding, mediated through Gln493, sets the same stage for all three sublineages due to the presence of L452R mutation. The other mutation component, E484Q or T478K, was found to impact the RBD-ACE2 binding and help the variant to evade several monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in a distinct manner. Especially for L452R + T478K, synergies between mutations are mediated through a complex residual and water interaction network and further enhance its binding to ACE2. Taking together, this study demonstrates that new variants of SARS-CoV-2 accomplish both "attack" (infection) and "defense" (antibody neutralization escape) with the same "polished sword" (mutated Spike RBD).


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virulence/genetics , Point Mutation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Allosteric Regulation , Protein Domains/genetics
13.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 17038, 2022 Oct 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2062255

ABSTRACT

The vaccination drive against COVID-19 worldwide was quite successful. However, the second wave of infections was even more disastrous. There was a rapid increase in reinfections and human deaths due to the appearance of new SARS-CoV-2 variants. The viral genome mutations in the variants were acquired while passing through different human hosts that could escape antibodies in convalescent or vaccinated individuals. The treatment was based on oxygen supplements and supportive protocols due to the lack of a specific drug. In this study, we identified three lead inhibitors of arylated coumarin derivatives 4,6,8-tri(naphthalen-2-yl)-2H-chromen-2-one (NF1), 8-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4,6-di(naphthalen-2-yl)-2H-chromen-2-one (NF12) and 8-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-3,6-di(naphthalen-2-yl)-2H-chromen-2-one (NF-13) that showed higher binding affinity towards the junction of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (S-protein) and human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Using molecular docking analysis, we identified the putative binding sites of these potent inhibitors. Notably, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and MM-PBSA studies confirmed that these inhibitors have the potential ability to bind Spike-protein/ACE2 protein complex with minimal energy. Further, the two major concerns are an adaptive mutation of spike proteins- N501Y and D614G which displayed strong affinity towards NF-13 in docking analysis. Additionally, in vitro and in vivo studies are required to confirm the above findings and develop the inhibitors as potential drugs against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Coumarins/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Oxygen , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
14.
Biochemistry ; 61(21): 2280-2294, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2062141

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 envelope (E) protein is a viroporin associated with the acute respiratory symptoms of COVID-19. E forms cation-selective ion channels that assemble in the lipid membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum Golgi intermediate compartment. The channel activity of E is linked to the inflammatory response of the host cell to the virus. Like many viroporins, E is thought to oligomerize with a well-defined stoichiometry. However, attempts to determine the E stoichiometry have led to inconclusive results and suggested mixtures of oligomers whose exact nature might vary with the detergent used. Here, we employ 19F solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance and the centerband-only detection of exchange (CODEX) technique to determine the oligomeric number of E's transmembrane domain (ETM) in lipid bilayers. The CODEX equilibrium value, which corresponds to the inverse of the oligomeric number, indicates that ETM assembles into pentamers in lipid bilayers, without any detectable fraction of low-molecular-weight oligomers. Unexpectedly, at high peptide concentrations and in the presence of the lipid phosphatidylinositol, the CODEX data indicate that more than five 19F spins are within a detectable distance of about 2 nm, suggesting that the ETM pentamers cluster in the lipid bilayer. Monte Carlo simulations that take into account peptide-peptide and peptide-lipid interactions yielded pentamer clusters that reproduced the CODEX data. This supramolecular organization is likely important for E-mediated virus assembly and budding and for the channel function of the protein.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Envelope Proteins , Lipid Bilayers , SARS-CoV-2 , Lipid Bilayers/chemistry , Protein Domains , Viroporin Proteins , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/chemistry
15.
Science ; 369(6511): 1586-1592, 2020 09 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2038226

ABSTRACT

Intervention strategies are urgently needed to control the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. The trimeric viral spike (S) protein catalyzes fusion between viral and target cell membranes to initiate infection. Here, we report two cryo-electron microscopy structures derived from a preparation of the full-length S protein, representing its prefusion (2.9-angstrom resolution) and postfusion (3.0-angstrom resolution) conformations, respectively. The spontaneous transition to the postfusion state is independent of target cells. The prefusion trimer has three receptor-binding domains clamped down by a segment adjacent to the fusion peptide. The postfusion structure is strategically decorated by N-linked glycans, suggesting possible protective roles against host immune responses and harsh external conditions. These findings advance our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 entry and may guide the development of vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Cryoelectron Microscopy , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Protein Domains , Protein Multimerization , Protein Structure, Secondary , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Virus Internalization
16.
J Mol Biol ; 434(16): 167720, 2022 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2028233

ABSTRACT

Viral infection in cells triggers a cascade of molecular defense mechanisms to maintain host-cell homoeostasis. One of these mechanisms is ADP-ribosylation, a fundamental post-translational modification (PTM) characterized by the addition of ADP-ribose (ADPr) on substrates. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) are implicated in this process and they perform ADP-ribosylation on host and pathogen proteins. Some viral families contain structural motifs that can reverse this PTM. These motifs known as macro domains (MDs) are evolutionarily conserved protein domains found in all kingdoms of life. They are divided in different classes with the viral belonging to Macro-D-type class because of their properties to recognize and revert the ADP-ribosylation. Viral MDs are potential pharmaceutical targets, capable to counteract host immune response. Sequence and structural homology between viral and human MDs are an impediment for the development of new active compounds against their function. Remdesivir, is a drug administrated in viral infections inhibiting viral replication through RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). Herein, GS-441524, the active metabolite of the remdesivir, is tested as a hydrolase inhibitor for several viral MDs and for its binding to human homologs found in PARPs. This study presents biochemical and biophysical studies, which indicate that GS-441524 selectively modifies SARS-CoV-2 MD de-MARylation activity, while it does not interact with hPARP14 MD2 and hPARP15 MD2. The structural investigation of MD•GS-441524 complexes, using solution NMR and X-ray crystallography, discloses the impact of certain amino acids in ADPr binding cavity suggesting that F360 and its adjacent residues tune the selective binding of the inhibitor to SARS-CoV-2 MD.


Subject(s)
ADP-Ribosylation , Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors , Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases , SARS-CoV-2 , ADP-Ribosylation/drug effects , Adenosine/chemistry , Adenosine/pharmacology , Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose/chemistry , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Humans , Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
17.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(16)2022 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987839

ABSTRACT

Understanding fusion mechanisms employed by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein entails realistic transmembrane domain (TMD) models, while no reliable approaches towards predicting the 3D structure of transmembrane (TM) trimers exist. Here, we propose a comprehensive computational framework to model the spike TMD only based on its primary structure. We performed amino acid sequence pattern matching and compared the molecular hydrophobicity potential (MHP) distribution on the helix surface against TM homotrimers with known 3D structures and selected an appropriate template for homology modeling. We then iteratively built a model of spike TMD, adjusting "dynamic MHP portraits" and residue variability motifs. The stability of this model, with and without palmitoyl modifications downstream of the TMD, and several alternative configurations (including a recent NMR structure), was tested in all-atom molecular dynamics simulations in a POPC bilayer mimicking the viral envelope. Our model demonstrated unique stability under the conditions applied and conforms to known basic principles of TM helix packing. The original computational framework looks promising and could potentially be employed in the construction of 3D models of TM trimers for a wide range of membrane proteins.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
18.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(33): e2208144119, 2022 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1984601

ABSTRACT

Pattern recognition molecules (PRMs) form an important part of innate immunity, where they facilitate the response to infections and damage by triggering processes such as inflammation. The pentraxin family of soluble PRMs comprises long and short pentraxins, with the former containing unique N-terminal regions unrelated to other proteins or each other. No complete high-resolution structural information exists about long pentraxins, unlike the short pentraxins, where there is an abundance of both X-ray and cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM)-derived structures. This study presents a high-resolution structure of the prototypical long pentraxin, PTX3. Cryo-EM yielded a 2.5-Å map of the C-terminal pentraxin domains that revealed a radically different quaternary structure compared to other pentraxins, comprising a glycosylated D4 symmetrical octameric complex stabilized by an extensive disulfide network. The cryo-EM map indicated α-helices that extended N terminal of the pentraxin domains that were not fully resolved. AlphaFold was used to predict the remaining N-terminal structure of the octameric PTX3 complex, revealing two long tetrameric coiled coils with two hinge regions, which was validated using classification of cryo-EM two-dimensional averages. The resulting hybrid cryo-EM/AlphaFold structure allowed mapping of ligand binding sites, such as C1q and fibroblast growth factor-2, as well as rationalization of previous biochemical data. Given the relevance of PTX3 in conditions ranging from COVID-19 prognosis, cancer progression, and female infertility, this structure could be used to inform the understanding and rational design of therapies for these disorders and processes.


Subject(s)
C-Reactive Protein , Complement Activation , Serum Amyloid P-Component , Binding Sites , C-Reactive Protein/chemistry , C-Reactive Protein/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Ligands , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Domains , Serum Amyloid P-Component/chemistry
19.
Nature ; 609(7928): 793-800, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1984402

ABSTRACT

The RNA genome of SARS-CoV-2 contains a 5' cap that facilitates the translation of viral proteins, protection from exonucleases and evasion of the host immune response1-4. How this cap is made in SARS-CoV-2 is not completely understood. Here we reconstitute the N7- and 2'-O-methylated SARS-CoV-2 RNA cap (7MeGpppA2'-O-Me) using virally encoded non-structural proteins (nsps). We show that the kinase-like nidovirus RdRp-associated nucleotidyltransferase (NiRAN) domain5 of nsp12 transfers the RNA to the amino terminus of nsp9, forming a covalent RNA-protein intermediate (a process termed RNAylation). Subsequently, the NiRAN domain transfers the RNA to GDP, forming the core cap structure GpppA-RNA. The nsp146 and nsp167 methyltransferases then add methyl groups to form functional cap structures. Structural analyses of the replication-transcription complex bound to nsp9 identified key interactions that mediate the capping reaction. Furthermore, we demonstrate in a reverse genetics system8 that the N terminus of nsp9 and the kinase-like active-site residues in the NiRAN domain are required for successful SARS-CoV-2 replication. Collectively, our results reveal an unconventional mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 caps its RNA genome, thus exposing a new target in the development of antivirals to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
RNA Caps , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Guanosine Diphosphate/metabolism , Humans , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Nucleotidyltransferases/chemistry , Nucleotidyltransferases/metabolism , Protein Domains , RNA Caps/chemistry , RNA Caps/genetics , RNA Caps/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19 Drug Treatment
20.
Science ; 377(6607): 728-735, 2022 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1968212

ABSTRACT

The potential for future coronavirus outbreaks highlights the need to broadly target this group of pathogens. We used an epitope-agnostic approach to identify six monoclonal antibodies that bind to spike proteins from all seven human-infecting coronaviruses. All six antibodies target the conserved fusion peptide region adjacent to the S2' cleavage site. COV44-62 and COV44-79 broadly neutralize alpha- and betacoronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron subvariants BA.2 and BA.4/5, albeit with lower potency than receptor binding domain-specific antibodies. In crystal structures of COV44-62 and COV44-79 antigen-binding fragments with the SARS-CoV-2 fusion peptide, the fusion peptide epitope adopts a helical structure and includes the arginine residue at the S2' cleavage site. COV44-79 limited disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 in a Syrian hamster model. These findings highlight the fusion peptide as a candidate epitope for next-generation coronavirus vaccine development.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Viral , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , COVID-19 , Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Peptides/immunology , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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