Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 689
Filter
1.
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 , COVID-19/drug therapy , 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
2.
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
3.
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
4.
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
5.
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
6.
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
7.
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/drug therapy , 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
8.
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
9.
J Virol ; 96(15): e0095822, 2022 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1949998

ABSTRACT

The spike protein on sarbecovirus virions contains two external, protruding domains: an N-terminal domain (NTD) with unclear function and a C-terminal domain (CTD) that binds the host receptor, allowing for viral entry and infection. While the CTD is well studied for therapeutic interventions, the role of the NTD is far less well understood for many coronaviruses. Here, we demonstrate that the spike NTD from SARS-CoV-2 and other sarbecoviruses binds to unidentified glycans in vitro similarly to other members of the Coronaviridae family. We also show that these spike NTD (S-NTD) proteins adhere to Calu3 cells, a human lung cell line, although the biological relevance of this is unclear. In contrast to what has been shown for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which attaches sialic acids during cell entry, sialic acids present on Calu3 cells inhibited sarbecovirus infection. Therefore, while sarbecoviruses can interact with cell surface glycans similarly to other coronaviruses, their reliance on glycans for entry is different from that of other respiratory coronaviruses, suggesting sarbecoviruses and MERS-CoV have adapted to different cell types, tissues, or hosts during their divergent evolution. Our findings provide important clues for further exploring the biological functions of sarbecovirus glycan binding and adds to our growing understanding of the complex forces that shape coronavirus spike evolution. IMPORTANCE Spike N-terminal domains (S-NTD) of sarbecoviruses are highly diverse; however, their function remains largely understudied compared with the receptor-binding domains (RBD). Here, we show that sarbecovirus S-NTD can be phylogenetically clustered into five clades and exhibit various levels of glycan binding in vitro. We also show that, unlike some coronaviruses, including MERS-CoV, sialic acids present on the surface of Calu3, a human lung cell culture, inhibit SARS-CoV-2 and other sarbecoviruses. These results suggest that while glycan binding might be an ancestral trait conserved across different coronavirus families, the functional outcome during infection can vary, reflecting divergent viral evolution. Our results expand our knowledge on the biological functions of the S-NTD across diverse sarbecoviruses and provide insight on the evolutionary history of coronavirus spike.


Subject(s)
Evolution, Molecular , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Polysaccharides , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/chemistry , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/classification , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sialic Acids/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
10.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(31): e2205412119, 2022 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947766

ABSTRACT

Camelid single-domain antibodies, also known as nanobodies, can be readily isolated from naïve libraries for specific targets but often bind too weakly to their targets to be immediately useful. Laboratory-based genetic engineering methods to enhance their affinity, termed maturation, can deliver useful reagents for different areas of biology and potentially medicine. Using the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein and a naïve library, we generated closely related nanobodies with micromolar to nanomolar binding affinities. By analyzing the structure-activity relationship using X-ray crystallography, cryoelectron microscopy, and biophysical methods, we observed that higher conformational entropy losses in the formation of the spike protein-nanobody complex are associated with tighter binding. To investigate this, we generated structural ensembles of the different complexes from electron microscopy maps and correlated the conformational fluctuations with binding affinity. This insight guided the engineering of a nanobody with improved affinity for the spike protein.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Affinity , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody Affinity/genetics , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Entropy , Genetic Engineering , Humans , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
11.
Bioorg Med Chem ; 67: 116788, 2022 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1926241

ABSTRACT

A series of amino acid based 7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidines were designed and synthesized to discern the structure activity relationships against the SARS-CoV-2 nsp3 macrodomain (Mac1), an ADP-ribosylhydrolase that is critical for coronavirus replication and pathogenesis. Structure activity studies identified compound 15c as a low-micromolar inhibitor of Mac1 in two ADP-ribose binding assays. This compound also demonstrated inhibition in an enzymatic assay of Mac1 and displayed a thermal shift comparable to ADPr in the melting temperature of Mac1 supporting binding to the target protein. A structural model reproducibly predicted a binding mode where the pyrrolo pyrimidine forms a hydrogen bonding network with Asp22 and the amide backbone NH of Ile23 in the adenosine binding pocket and the carboxylate forms hydrogen bonds to the amide backbone of Phe157 and Asp156, part of the oxyanion subsite of Mac1. Compound 15c also demonstrated notable selectivity for coronavirus macrodomains when tested against a panel of ADP-ribose binding proteins. Together, this study identified several low MW, low µM Mac1 inhibitors to use as small molecule chemical probes for this potential anti-viral target and offers starting points for further optimization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose/metabolism , Amides , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Protein Domains
12.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 3788, 2022 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908240

ABSTRACT

Immunosenescence may impact the functionality and breadth of vaccine-elicited humoral immune responses. The ability of sera to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S) from Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon variants of concern (VOCs) relative to the ancestral Wuhan-Hu-1 strain was compared in Comirnaty COVID-19-vaccinated elderly nursing home residents, either SARS-CoV-2 naïve (n = 22) or experienced (n = 8), or SARS-CoV-2 naïve younger individuals (n = 18) and non-vaccinated individuals who recovered from severe COVID-19 (n = 19). In all groups, except that including SARS-CoV-2-experienced nursing home residents, some participants lacked NtAb against one or more VOCs, mainly the Beta variant (15-20%). Serum NtAb titers were lowest against the Beta variant followed by Gamma, Delta and Epsilon variants. Overall, fold change reduction in NtAb titers relative to the ancestral strain was greatest for the Beta variant (6.7-19.4) followed by Gamma (4.8-16.0), Epsilon (2.9-13.4), and Delta (3.5-6.5) variants, although subtle differences were observed for Beta, Epsilon and Delta variants across comparison groups. In summary, older age, frailty, and concurrence of co-morbidities had no major impact on the serum NtAb activity profile against SARS-CoV-2 VOCs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Nursing Homes , Protein Domains/immunology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
13.
J Mol Evol ; 90(3-4): 227-230, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906023

ABSTRACT

Self-replicating proteins or prions deviate from the central dogma of replication. The discovery of prion-like domains in coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 suggests their possible role in viral evolution. Here, we have outlined the possible role of self-replicating protein-like domains in the emergence of novel viruses. Further studies are needed to understand the function of these viral self-replicating protein-like domains and whether they could be antiviral target(s) for the development of effective antiviral agents in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Prions , Viruses , Antiviral Agents , Humans , Prions/genetics , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2
14.
J Phys Chem B ; 126(26): 4828-4839, 2022 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900410

ABSTRACT

As a type I viral fusion protein, SARS-CoV-2 spike undergoes a pH-dependent switch to mediate the endosomal positioning of the receptor-binding domain to facilitate viral entry into cells and immune evasion. Gaps in our knowledge concerning the conformational transitions and key intramolecular motivations have hampered the development of effective therapeutics against the virus. To clarify the pH-sensitive elements on spike-gating the receptor-binding domain (RBD) opening and understand the details of the RBD opening transition, we performed microsecond-time scale constant pH molecular dynamics simulations in this study. We identified the deeply buried D571 with a clear pKa shift, suggesting a potential pH sensor, and showed the coupling of ionization of D571 with spike RBD-up/down equilibrium. We also computed the free-energy landscape for RBD opening and identified the crucial interactions that influence RBD dynamics. The atomic-level characterization of the pH-dependent spike activation mechanism provided herein offers new insights for a better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry and infection and hence supports the discovery of novel therapeutics for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
15.
J Med Chem ; 65(3): 2558-2570, 2022 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895561

ABSTRACT

Safe and effective vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its variants are the best approach to successfully combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein is a major target to develop candidate vaccines. α-Galactosylceramide (αGalCer), a potent invariant natural killer T cell (iNKT) agonist, was site-specifically conjugated to the N-terminus of the RBD to form an adjuvant-protein conjugate, which was anchored on the liposome surface. This is the first time that an iNKT cell agonist was conjugated to the protein antigen. Compared to the unconjugated RBD/αGalCer mixture, the αGalCer-RBD conjugate induced significantly stronger humoral and cellular responses. The conjugate vaccine also showed effective cross-neutralization to all variants of concern (B.1.1.7/alpha, B.1.351/beta, P.1/gamma, B.1.617.2/delta, and B.1.1.529/omicron). These results suggest that the self-adjuvanting αGalCer-RBD has great potential to be an effective COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and this strategy might be useful for designing various subunit vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Galactosylceramides/therapeutic use , Peptide Fragments/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Conjugate/therapeutic use , Adjuvants, Immunologic/chemistry , Adjuvants, Immunologic/therapeutic use , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Galactosylceramides/chemistry , Galactosylceramides/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Liposomes/chemistry , Liposomes/immunology , Liposomes/therapeutic use , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Peptide Fragments/chemistry , Peptide Fragments/immunology , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/therapeutic use , Vaccines, Conjugate/chemistry , Vaccines, Conjugate/immunology
16.
Structure ; 30(9): 1224-1232.e5, 2022 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895449

ABSTRACT

Emerging new variants of SARS-CoV-2 and inevitable acquired drug resistance call for the continued search of new pharmacological targets to fight the potentially fatal infection. Here, we describe the mechanisms by which the E protein of SARS-CoV-2 hijacks the human transcriptional regulator BRD4. We found that SARS-CoV-2 E is acetylated in vivo and co-immunoprecipitates with BRD4 in human cells. Bromodomains (BDs) of BRD4 bind to the C-terminus of the E protein, acetylated by human acetyltransferase p300, whereas the ET domain of BRD4 recognizes the unmodified motif of the E protein. Inhibitors of BRD4 BDs, JQ1 or OTX015, decrease SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in lung bronchial epithelial cells, indicating that the acetyllysine binding function of BDs is necessary for the virus fitness and that BRD4 represents a potential anti-COVID-19 target. Our findings provide insight into molecular mechanisms that contribute to SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and shed light on a new strategy to block SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cell Cycle Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transcription Factors/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Nuclear Proteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Domains
17.
J Cell Biochem ; 123(7): 1207-1221, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1866542

ABSTRACT

The initial step of infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) involves the binding of receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Each successive wave of SARS-CoV-2 reports emergence of many new variants, which is associated with mutations in the RBD as well as other parts of the spike protein. These mutations are reported to have enhanced affinity towards the ACE2 receptor as well as are also crucial for the virus transmission. Many computational and experimental studies have demonstrated the effect of individual mutation on the RBD-ACE2 binding. However, the cumulative effect of mutations on the RBD and away from the RBD was not investigated in detail. We report here a comparative analysis on the structural communication and dynamics of the RBD and truncated S1 domain of spike protein in complex with the ACE2 receptor from SARS-CoV-2 wild type and its P.1 variant. Our integrative network and dynamics approaches highlighted a subtle conformational changes in the RBD as well as truncated S1 domain of spike protein at the protein contact level, responsible for the increased affinity with the ACE2 receptor. Moreover, our study also identified the commonalities and differences in the dynamics of the interactions between spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 wild type and its P.1 variant with the ACE2 receptor. Further, our investigation yielded an understanding towards identification of the unique RBD residues crucial for the interaction with the ACE2 host receptor. Overall, the study provides an insight for designing better therapeutics against the circulating P.1 variants as well as other future variants.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , COVID-19 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Binding Sites , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
18.
J Chem Inf Model ; 62(11): 2889-2898, 2022 06 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852366

ABSTRACT

The binding process of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-like coronavirus 2 spike protein was investigated using molecular dynamics simulation and the three-dimensional reference interaction-site model theory. The results suggested that the protein-binding process consists of a protein-protein approaching step, followed by a local structural rearrangement step. In the approaching step, the interprotein interaction energy decreased as the proteins approached each other, whereas the solvation free energy increased. As the proteins approached, the glycan of ACE2 first established a hydrogen bond with the RBD. Thereafter, the number of interprotein hydrogen bonds increased rapidly. The solvation free energy increased because of the desolvation of the protein as it approached its partner. The spatial distribution function of the solvent revealed the presence of hydrogen bonds bridged by water molecules on the RBD-ACE2 interface. Finally, principal component analysis revealed that ACE2 showed a pronounced conformational change, whereas there was no significant change in RBD.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
19.
Virology ; 570: 1-8, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839383

ABSTRACT

Enveloped viruses such as Coronaviridae (CoV) enter the host cell by fusing the viral envelope directly with the plasma membrane (PM) or with the membrane of the endosome. Replication of the CoV genome takes place in membrane compartments formed by rearrangement of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane network. Budding of these viruses occurs from the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC). The relationship between proteins and various membranes is crucial for the replication cycle of CoVs. The role of transmembrane domains (TMDs) and pre-transmembrane domains (pre-TMD) of viral proteins in this process is gaining more recognition. Here we present a thorough analysis of physico-chemical parameters, such as accessible surface area (ASA), average hydrophobicity (Hav), and contribution of specific amino acids in TMDs and pre-TMDs of single-span membrane proteins of human viruses. We focus on unique properties of these elements in CoV and postulate their role in adaptation to diverse host membranes and regulation of retention of membrane proteins during replication.


Subject(s)
Coronaviridae , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Endoplasmic Reticulum/metabolism , Humans , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Protein Domains , Viral Proteins/metabolism
20.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0250780, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833531

ABSTRACT

The spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 is the molecular target for many vaccines and antibody-based prophylactics aimed at bringing COVID-19 under control. Such a narrow molecular focus raises the specter of viral immune evasion as a potential failure mode for these biomedical interventions. With the emergence of new strains of SARS-CoV-2 with altered transmissibility and immune evasion potential, a critical question is this: how easily can the virus escape neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) targeting the spike RBD? To answer this question, we combined an analysis of the RBD structure-function with an evolutionary modeling framework. Our structure-function analysis revealed that epitopes for RBD-targeting nAbs overlap one another substantially and can be evaded by escape mutants with ACE2 affinities comparable to the wild type, that are observed in sequence surveillance data and infect cells in vitro. This suggests that the fitness cost of nAb-evading mutations is low. We then used evolutionary modeling to predict the frequency of immune escape before and after the widespread presence of nAbs due to vaccines, passive immunization or natural immunity. Our modeling suggests that SARS-CoV-2 mutants with one or two mildly deleterious mutations are expected to exist in high numbers due to neutral genetic variation, and consequently resistance to vaccines or other prophylactics that rely on one or two antibodies for protection can develop quickly -and repeatedly- under positive selection. Predicted resistance timelines are comparable to those of the decay kinetics of nAbs raised against vaccinal or natural antigens, raising a second potential mechanism for loss of immunity in the population. Strategies for viral elimination should therefore be diversified across molecular targets and therapeutic modalities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Epitopes/immunology , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Immune Evasion/immunology , Models, Molecular , Neutralization Tests/methods , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Domains/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Structure-Activity Relationship
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL