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1.
Nature ; 614(7948): 521-529, 2023 Feb.
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
2.
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
3.
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
4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1214, 2022 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730288

ABSTRACT

The omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been spreading rapidly across the globe. The virus-surface spike protein plays a critical role in the cell entry and immune evasion of SARS-CoV-2. Here we determined the 3.0 Å cryo-EM structure of the omicron spike protein ectodomain. In contrast to the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 where the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein takes a mixture of open ("standing up") and closed ("lying down") conformations, the omicron spike molecules are predominantly in the open conformation, with one upright RBD ready for receptor binding. The open conformation of the omicron spike is stabilized by enhanced inter-domain and inter-subunit packing, which involves new mutations in the omicron strain. Moreover, the omicron spike has undergone extensive mutations in RBD regions where known neutralizing antibodies target, allowing the omicron variant to escape immune surveillance aimed at the original viral strain. The stable open conformation of the omicron spike sheds light on the cell entry and immune evasion mechanisms of the omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/ultrastructure , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Pandemics , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virus Internalization
5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 871, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692611

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant is currently the dominant circulating strain in the world. Uncovering the structural basis of the enhanced transmission and altered immune sensitivity of Delta is particularly important. Here we present cryo-EM structures revealing two conformational states of Delta spike and S/ACE2 complex in four states. Our cryo-EM analysis suggests that RBD destabilizations lead to population shift towards the more RBD-up and S1 destabilized fusion-prone state, beneficial for engagement with ACE2 and shedding of S1. Noteworthy, we find the Delta T478K substitution plays a vital role in stabilizing and reshaping the RBM loop473-490, enhancing interaction with ACE2. Collectively, increased propensity for more RBD-up states and the affinity-enhancing T478K substitution together contribute to increased ACE2 binding, providing structural basis of rapid spread of Delta. Moreover, we identify a previously generated MAb 8D3 as a cross-variant broadly neutralizing antibody and reveal that 8D3 binding induces a large K478 side-chain orientation change, suggesting 8D3 may use an "induced-fit" mechanism to tolerate Delta T478K mutation. We also find that all five RBD-targeting MAbs tested remain effective on Delta, suggesting that Delta well preserves the neutralizing antigenic landscape in RBD. Our findings shed new lights on the pathogenicity and antibody neutralization of Delta.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , Protein Domains/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Substitution/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/immunology , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
Science ; 375(6583): 864-868, 2022 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650843

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant of concern evades antibody-mediated immunity that comes from vaccination or infection with earlier variants due to accumulation of numerous spike mutations. To understand the Omicron antigenic shift, we determined cryo-electron microscopy and x-ray crystal structures of the spike protein and the receptor-binding domain bound to the broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus monoclonal antibody (mAb) S309 (the parent mAb of sotrovimab) and to the human ACE2 receptor. We provide a blueprint for understanding the marked reduction of binding of other therapeutic mAbs that leads to dampened neutralizing activity. Remodeling of interactions between the Omicron receptor-binding domain and human ACE2 likely explains the enhanced affinity for the host receptor relative to the ancestral virus.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Immune Evasion , Receptors, Coronavirus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antigenic Drift and Shift , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/chemistry , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/metabolism , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
7.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 24(5): 3410-3419, 2022 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650366

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Among all the potential targets studied for developing drugs and antibodies, the spike (S) protein is the most striking one, which is on the surface of the virus. In contrast with the intensively investigated immunodominant receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the protein, little is known about the neutralizing antibody binding mechanisms of the N-terminal domain (NTD), let alone the effects of NTD mutations on antibody binding and thereby the risk of immune evasion. Based on 400 ns molecular dynamics simulation for 11 NTD-antibody complexes together with other computational approaches in this study, we investigated critical residues for NTD-antibody binding and their detailed mechanisms. The results show that 36 residues on the NTD including R246, Y144, K147, Y248, L249 and P251 are critically involved in the direct interaction of the NTD with many monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), indicating that the viruses harboring these residue mutations may have a high risk of immune evasion. Binding free energy calculations and an interaction mechanism study reveal that R246I, which is present in the Beta (B.1.351/501Y.V2) variant, may have various impacts on current NTD antibodies through abolishing the hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interaction with the antibodies or affecting other interface residues. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the mutations of these key residues in future antibody and vaccine design and development.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Immune Evasion/genetics , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Hydrogen Bonding , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Thermodynamics
8.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(2): 100527, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649678

ABSTRACT

The Omicron variant features enhanced transmissibility and antibody escape. Here, we describe the Omicron receptor-binding domain (RBD) mutational landscape using amino acid interaction (AAI) networks, which are well suited for interrogating constellations of mutations that function in an epistatic manner. Using AAI, we map Omicron mutations directly and indirectly driving increased escape breadth and depth in class 1-4 antibody epitopes. Further, we present epitope networks for authorized therapeutic antibodies and assess perturbations to each antibody's epitope. Since our initial modeling following the identification of Omicron, these predictions have been realized by experimental findings of Omicron neutralization escape from therapeutic antibodies ADG20, AZD8895, and AZD1061. Importantly, the AAI predicted escape resulting from indirect epitope perturbations was not captured by previous sequence or point mutation analyses. Finally, for several Omicron RBD mutations, we find evidence for a plausible role in enhanced transmissibility via disruption of RBD-down conformational stability at the RBDdown-RBDdown interface.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Mutation , Protein Domains/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
9.
J Immunol Methods ; 502: 113216, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611844

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) represents a new global threat demanding a multidisciplinary effort to fight its etiological agent-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In this regard, immunoinformatics may aid to predict prominent immunogenic regions from critical SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins, such as the spike (S) glycoprotein, for their use in prophylactic or therapeutic interventions against this highly pathogenic betacoronavirus. Accordingly, in this study, an integrated immunoinformatics approach was applied to identify cytotoxic T cell (CTC), T helper cell (THC), and Linear B cell (BC) epitopes from the S glycoprotein in an attempt to design a high-quality multi-epitope vaccine. The best CTC, THC, and BC epitopes showed high viral antigenicity and lack of allergenic or toxic residues, as well as CTC and THC epitopes showed suitable interactions with HLA class I (HLA-I) and HLA class II (HLA-II) molecules, respectively. Remarkably, SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and its receptor-binding motif (RBM) harbour several potential epitopes. The structure prediction, refinement, and validation data indicate that the multi-epitope vaccine has an appropriate conformation and stability. Four conformational epitopes and an efficient binding between Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and the vaccine model were observed. Importantly, the population coverage analysis showed that the multi-epitope vaccine could be used globally. Notably, computer-based simulations suggest that the vaccine model has a robust potential to evoke and maximize both immune effector responses and immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2. Further research is needed to accomplish with the mandatory international guidelines for human vaccine formulations.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Computational Biology , Computer Simulation , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/genetics , Immunologic Memory , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic , Toll-Like Receptor 4/metabolism , Vaccine Development/methods , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/therapeutic use
10.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 197: 68-76, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587673

ABSTRACT

The C-terminal domain of SARS-CoV main protease (Mpro-C) can form 3D domain-swapped dimer by exchanging the α1-helices fully buried inside the protein hydrophobic core, under non-denaturing conditions. Here, we report that Mpro-C can also form amyloid fibrils under the 3D domain-swappable conditions in vitro, and the fibrils are not formed through runaway/propagated domain swapping. It is found that there are positive correlations between the rates of domain swapping dimerization and amyloid fibrillation at different temperatures, and for different mutants. However, some Mpro-C mutants incapable of 3D domain swapping can still form amyloid fibrils, indicating that 3D domain swapping is not essential for amyloid fibrillation. Furthermore, NMR H/D exchange data and molecular dynamics simulation results suggest that the protofibril core region tends to unpack at the early stage of 3D domain swapping, so that the amyloid fibrillation can proceed during the 3D domain swapping process. We propose that 3D domain swapping makes it possible for the unpacking of the amyloidogenic fragment of the protein and thus accelerates the amyloid fibrillation process kinetically, which explains the well-documented correlations between amyloid fibrillation and 3D domain swapping observed in many proteins.


Subject(s)
Amyloid/chemistry , Amyloid/metabolism , Amyloidosis/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Protein Domains/physiology , Amyloidosis/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Dimerization , Disulfides/chemistry , Disulfides/metabolism , Kinetics , Models, Molecular , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Polymerization , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Folding , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Temperature
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23644, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1562403

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lineages that carry mutations in the spike gene are of concern for potential impact to treatment and prevention efforts. To monitor for new SARS-CoV-2 mutations, a panel of specimens were sequenced from both wave one (N = 96), and wave two (N = 117) of the pandemic in Senegal by whole genome next generation sequencing. Amongst these genomes, new combinations of SARS-CoV-2 spike mutations were identified, with E484K + N501T, L452R + N501Y, and L452M + S477N exclusively found in second wave specimens. These sequences are evidence of local diversification over the course of the pandemic and parallel evolution of escape mutations in different lineages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Senegal , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
12.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23622, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559938

ABSTRACT

Spike glycoprotein (Sgp) is liable for binding of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to the host receptors. Since Sgp is the main target for vaccine and drug designing, elucidating its mutation pattern could help in this regard. This study is aimed at investigating the correspondence of specific residues to the SgpSARS-CoV-2 functionality by explorative interpretation of sequence alignments. Centrality analysis of the Sgp dissects the importance of these residues in the interaction network of the RBD-ACE2 (receptor-binding domain) complex and furin cleavage site. Correspondence of RBD to threonine500 and asparagine501 and furin cleavage site to glutamine675, glutamine677, threonine678, and alanine684 was observed; all residues are exactly located at the interaction interfaces. The harmonious location of residues dictates the RBD binding property and the flexibility, hydrophobicity, and accessibility of the furin cleavage site. These species-specific residues can be assumed as real targets of evolution, while other substitutions tend to support them. Moreover, all these residues are parts of experimentally identified epitopes. Therefore, their substitution may affect vaccine efficacy. Higher rate of RBD maintenance than furin cleavage site was predicted. The accumulation of substitutions reinforces the probability of the multi-host circulation of the virus and emphasizes the enduring evolutionary events.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cluster Analysis , Humans , Markov Chains , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Alignment , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
13.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260438, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556720

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic in March 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). As of May 25th, 2021 there were 2.059.941 SARS-COV2 genome sequences that have been submitted to the GISAID database, with numerous variations. Here, we aim to analyze the SARS-CoV-2 genome data submitted to the GISAID database from Turkey and to determine the variant and clade distributions by the end of May 2021, in accordance with their appearance timeline. We compared these findings to USA, Europe, and Asia data as well. We have also evaluated the effects of spike protein variations, detected in a group of genome sequences of 13 patients who applied to our clinic, by using 3D modeling algorithms. For this purpose, we analyzed 4607 SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences submitted by different lab centers from Turkey to the GISAID database between March 2020 and May 2021. Described mutations were also introduced in silico to the spike protein structure to analyze their isolated impacts on the protein structure. The most abundant clade was GR followed by G, GH, and GRY and we did not detect any V clade. The most common variant was B.1, followed by B.1.1, and the UK variant, B.1.1.7. Our results clearly show a concordance between the variant distributions, the number of cases, and the timelines of different variant accumulations in Turkey. The 3D simulations indicate an increase in the surface hydrophilicity of the reference spike protein and the detected mutations. There was less surface hydrophilicity increase in the Asp614Gly mutation, which exhibits a more compact conformation around the ACE-2 receptor binding domain region, rendering the structure in a "down" conformation. Our genomic findings can help to model vaccination programs and protein modeling may lead to different approaches for COVID-19 treatment strategies.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Adult , Aged , Algorithms , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Domains/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Turkey , Young Adult
14.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 12(49): 11850-11857, 2021 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556244

ABSTRACT

The importance of understanding SARS-CoV-2 evolution cannot be overlooked. Recent studies confirm that natural selection is the dominating mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 evolution, which favors mutations that strengthen viral infectivity. Here, we demonstrate that vaccine-breakthrough or antibody-resistant mutations provide a new mechanism of viral evolution. Specifically, vaccine-resistant mutation Y449S in the spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain, which occurred in co-mutations Y449S and N501Y, has reduced infectivity compared to that of the original SARS-CoV-2 but can disrupt existing antibodies that neutralize the virus. By tracking the evolutionary trajectories of vaccine-resistant mutations in more than 2.2 million SARS-CoV-2 genomes, we reveal that the occurrence and frequency of vaccine-resistant mutations correlate strongly with the vaccination rates in Europe and America. We anticipate that as a complementary transmission pathway, vaccine-breakthrough or antibody-resistant mutations, like those in Omicron, will become a dominating mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 evolution when most of the world's population is either vaccinated or infected. Our study sheds light on SARS-CoV-2 evolution and transmission and enables the design of the next-generation mutation-proof vaccines and antibody drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/diagnosis , Evolution, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Americas , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Europe , Humans , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccination
15.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3172, 2021 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550281

ABSTRACT

Secreted class 3 semaphorins (Sema3s) form tripartite complexes with the plexin receptor and neuropilin coreceptor, which are both transmembrane proteins that together mediate semaphorin signal for neuronal axon guidance and other processes. Despite extensive investigations, the overall architecture of and the molecular interactions in the Sema3/plexin/neuropilin complex are incompletely understood. Here we present the cryo-EM structure of a near intact extracellular region complex of Sema3A, PlexinA4 and Neuropilin 1 (Nrp1) at 3.7 Å resolution. The structure shows a large symmetric 2:2:2 assembly in which each subunit makes multiple interactions with others. The two PlexinA4 molecules in the complex do not interact directly, but their membrane proximal regions are close to each other and poised to promote the formation of the intracellular active dimer for signaling. The structure reveals a previously unknown interface between the a2b1b2 module in Nrp1 and the Sema domain of Sema3A. This interaction places the a2b1b2 module at the top of the complex, far away from the plasma membrane where the transmembrane regions of Nrp1 and PlexinA4 embed. As a result, the region following the a2b1b2 module in Nrp1 must span a large distance to allow the connection to the transmembrane region, suggesting an essential role for the long non-conserved linkers and the MAM domain in neuropilin in the semaphorin/plexin/neuropilin complex.


Subject(s)
Nerve Tissue Proteins/ultrastructure , Neuropilin-1/ultrastructure , Receptors, Cell Surface/ultrastructure , Semaphorin-3A/ultrastructure , Animals , COS Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cryoelectron Microscopy , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mutation , Nerve Tissue Proteins/genetics , Nerve Tissue Proteins/isolation & purification , Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism , Neuropilin-1/genetics , Neuropilin-1/isolation & purification , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Multimerization/genetics , Receptors, Cell Surface/genetics , Receptors, Cell Surface/isolation & purification , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/ultrastructure , Semaphorin-3A/genetics , Semaphorin-3A/isolation & purification , Semaphorin-3A/metabolism
16.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 11 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542799

ABSTRACT

As SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread among human populations, genetic changes occur and accumulate in the circulating virus. Some of these genetic changes have caused amino acid mutations, including deletions, which may have a potential impact on critical SARS-CoV-2 countermeasures, including vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. Considerable efforts have been made to categorize the amino acid mutations of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein, along with certain mutations in other regions within the S protein as specific variants, in an attempt to study the relationship between these mutations and the biological behavior of the virus. However, the currently used whole genome sequencing surveillance technologies can test only a small fraction of the positive specimens with high viral loads and often generate uncertainties in nucleic acid sequencing that needs additional verification for precision determination of mutations. This article introduces a generic protocol to routinely sequence a 437-bp nested RT-PCR cDNA amplicon of the ACE2 RBD and a 490-bp nested RT-PCR cDNA amplicon of the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the S gene for detection of the amino acid mutations needed for accurate determination of all variants of concern and variants of interest according to the definitions published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This protocol was able to amplify both nucleic acid targets into cDNA amplicons to be used as templates for Sanger sequencing on all 16 clinical specimens that were positive for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mutation , Protein Domains/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Analysis, DNA , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
17.
Immunity ; 54(12): 2908-2921.e6, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521063

ABSTRACT

Viral mutations are an emerging concern in reducing SARS-CoV-2 vaccination efficacy. Second-generation vaccines will need to elicit neutralizing antibodies against sites that are evolutionarily conserved across the sarbecovirus subgenus. Here, we immunized mice containing a human antibody repertoire with diverse sarbecovirus receptor-binding domains (RBDs) to identify antibodies targeting conserved sites of vulnerability. Antibodies with broad reactivity against diverse clade B RBDs targeting the conserved class 4 epitope, with recurring IGHV/IGKV pairs, were readily elicited but were non-neutralizing. However, rare class 4 antibodies binding this conserved RBD supersite showed potent neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 and all variants of concern. Structural analysis revealed that the neutralizing ability of cross-reactive antibodies was reserved only for those with an elongated CDRH3 that extends the antiparallel beta-sheet RBD core and orients the antibody light chain to obstruct ACE2-RBD interactions. These results identify a structurally defined pathway for vaccine strategies eliciting escape-resistant SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Conserved Sequence/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Immunization , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccine Development
18.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(22)2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512383

ABSTRACT

Since 2020, the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been constantly mutating, producing most of the notable missense mutations in the context of "variants of concern", probably in response to the vaccine-driven alteration of immune profiles of the human population. The Delta variant, in particular, has become the most prevalent variant of the epidemic, and it is spreading in countries with the highest vaccination rates, causing the world to face the risk of a new wave of the contagion. Understanding the physical mechanism responsible for the mutation-induced changes in the RBD's binding affinity, its transmissibility, and its capacity to escape vaccine-induced immunity is the "urgent challenge" in the development of preventive measures, vaccines, and therapeutic antibodies against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In this study, entropy-enthalpy compensation and the Gibbs free energy change were used to analyze the impact of the RBD mutations on the binding affinity of SARS-CoV-2 variants with the receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and existing antibodies. Through the analysis, we found that the existing mutations have already covered almost all possible detrimental mutations that could result in an increase of transmissibility, and that a possible mutation in amino-acid position 498 of the RBD can potentially enhance its binding affinity. A new calculation method for the binding energies of protein-protein complexes is proposed based on the entropy-enthalpy compensation rule. All known structures of RBD-antibody complexes and the RBD-ACE2 complex comply with the entropy-enthalpy compensation rule in providing the driving force behind the spontaneous protein-protein docking. The variant-induced risk of breakthrough infections in vaccinated people is attributed to the L452R mutation's reduction of the binding affinity of many antibodies. Mutations reversing the hydrophobic or hydrophilic performance of residues in the spike RBD potentially cause breakthrough infections of coronaviruses due to the changes in geometric complementarity in the entropy-enthalpy compensations between antibodies and the virus at the binding sites.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , Protein Interaction Maps , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Thermodynamics
19.
Chem Biol Drug Des ; 99(2): 233-246, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488186

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) as a global pandemic has attracted the attention of many scientific centers to find the right treatment. We expressed and purified the recombinant receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein, and specific RBD aptamers were designed using SELEX method. RNAi targeting nucleocapsid phosphoprotein was synthesized and human lung cells were inoculated with aptamer-functionalized lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) containing RNAi. The results demonstrated that RBD aptamer having KD values of 0.290 nm possessed good affinity. Based on molecular docking and efficacy prediction analysis, siRNA molecule was showed the best action. LNPs were appropriately functionalized by aptamer and contained RNAi molecules. Antiviral assay using q-PCR and ELISA demonstrated that LNP functionalized with 35 µm Apt and containing 30 nm RNAi/ml of cell culture had the best antiviral activity compared to other concentrations. Applied aptamer in the nanocarrier has two important functions. First, it can deliver the drug (RNAi) to the surface of epithelial cells. Second, by binding to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, it inhibits the virus entrance into cells. Our data reveal an interaction between the aptamer and the virus, and RNAi targeted the virus RNA. CT scan and the clinical laboratory tests in a clinical case study, a 36-year old man who presented with severe SARS-CoV-2, demonstrated that inhalation of 10 mg Apt-LNPs-RNAi nebulized/day for six days resulted in an improvement in consolidation and ground-glass opacity in lungs on the sixth day of treatment. Our findings suggest the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection through inhalation of Aptamer-LNPs-RNAi.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Aptamers, Nucleotide/chemistry , Liposomes/chemistry , Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Small Interfering/administration & dosage , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Administration, Inhalation , Adult , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/pathology , Male , Protein Domains/genetics , RNA Interference , RNA, Small Interfering/chemistry , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism , RNA, Small Interfering/pharmacology , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SELEX Aptamer Technique , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Load/drug effects
20.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481011

ABSTRACT

Human noroviruses are a common pathogen causing acute gastroenteritis worldwide. Among all norovirus genotypes, GII.3 is particularly prevalent in the pediatric population. Here we report the identification of two distinct blockade antibody epitopes on the GII.3 capsid. We generated a panel of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from mice immunized with virus-like particle (VLP) of a GII.3 cluster 3 strain. Two of these mAbs, namely 8C7 and 8D1, specifically bound the parental GII.3 VLP but not VLPs of GII.4, GII.17, or GI.1. In addition, 8C7 and 8D1 efficiently blocked GII.3 VLP binding with its ligand, histo-blood group antigens (HBGA). These data demonstrate that 8C7 and 8D1 are GII.3-specific blockade antibodies. By using a series of chimeric VLPs, we mapped the epitopes of 8C7 and 8D1 to residues 385-400 and 401-420 of the VP1 capsid protein, respectively. These two blockade antibody epitopes are highly conserved among GII.3 cluster 3 strains. Structural modeling shows that the 8C7 epitope partially overlaps with the HBGA binding site (HBS) while the 8D1 epitope is spatially adjacent to HBS. These findings may enhance our understanding of the immunology and evolution of GII.3 noroviruses.


Subject(s)
Norovirus/genetics , Norovirus/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Blocking/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites/genetics , Blood Group Antigens/genetics , Caliciviridae Infections/genetics , Capsid/immunology , Capsid Proteins/genetics , Capsid Proteins/immunology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Gastroenteritis/virology , Genotype , Humans , Mice , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Binding/immunology , Protein Domains/genetics
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