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1.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(D1): D497-D508, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2232151

ABSTRACT

Almost twenty years after its initial release, the Eukaryotic Linear Motif (ELM) resource remains an invaluable source of information for the study of motif-mediated protein-protein interactions. ELM provides a comprehensive, regularly updated and well-organised repository of manually curated, experimentally validated short linear motifs (SLiMs). An increasing number of SLiM-mediated interactions are discovered each year and keeping the resource up-to-date continues to be a great challenge. In the current update, 30 novel motif classes have been added and five existing classes have undergone major revisions. The update includes 411 new motif instances mostly focused on cell-cycle regulation, control of the actin cytoskeleton, membrane remodelling and vesicle trafficking pathways, liquid-liquid phase separation and integrin signalling. Many of the newly annotated motif-mediated interactions are targets of pathogenic motif mimicry by viral, bacterial or eukaryotic pathogens, providing invaluable insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying infectious diseases. The current ELM release includes 317 motif classes incorporating 3934 individual motif instances manually curated from 3867 scientific publications. ELM is available at: http://elm.eu.org.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases/genetics , Databases, Protein , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Software , Actin Cytoskeleton/chemistry , Actin Cytoskeleton/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , Cell Cycle/genetics , Cell Membrane/chemistry , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Communicable Diseases/metabolism , Communicable Diseases/virology , Cyclins/chemistry , Cyclins/genetics , Cyclins/metabolism , Eukaryotic Cells/cytology , Eukaryotic Cells/metabolism , Eukaryotic Cells/virology , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Integrins/chemistry , Integrins/genetics , Integrins/metabolism , Mice , Molecular Sequence Annotation , Protein Binding , Rats , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/genetics , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Transport Vesicles/chemistry , Transport Vesicles/metabolism , Viruses/genetics , Viruses/metabolism
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(10)2022 May 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855645

ABSTRACT

The present investigation focuses on the analysis of the interactions among human lactoferrin (LF), SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in order to assess possible mutual interactions that could provide a molecular basis of the reported preventative effect of lactoferrin against CoV-2 infection. In particular, kinetic and thermodynamic parameters for the pairwise interactions among the three proteins were measured via two independent techniques, biolayer interferometry and latex nanoparticle-enhanced turbidimetry. The results obtained clearly indicate that LF is able to bind the ACE2 receptor ectodomain with significantly high affinity, whereas no binding to the RBD was observed up to the maximum "physiological" lactoferrin concentration range. Lactoferrin, above 1 µM concentration, thus appears to directly interfere with RBD-ACE2 binding, bringing about a measurable, up to 300-fold increase of the KD value relative to RBD-ACE2 complex formation.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Lactoferrin , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Lactoferrin/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
3.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1786043

ABSTRACT

Various adenoviruses are being used as viral vectors for the generation of vaccines against chronic and emerging diseases (e.g., AIDS, COVID-19). Here, we report the improved capsid structure for one of these vectors, human adenovirus D26 (HAdV-D26), at 3.4 Å resolution, by reprocessing the previous cryo-electron microscopy dataset and obtaining a refined model. In addition to overall improvements in the model, the highlights of the structure include (1) locating a segment of the processed peptide of VIII that was previously believed to be released from the mature virions, (2) reorientation of the helical appendage domain (APD) of IIIa situated underneath the vertex region relative to its counterpart observed in the cleavage defective (ts1) mutant of HAdV-C5 that resulted in the loss of interactions between the APD and hexon bases, and (3) the revised conformation of the cleaved N-terminal segments of pre-protein VI (pVIn), located in the hexon cavities, is highly conserved, with notable stacking interactions between the conserved His13 and Phe18 residues. Taken together, the improved model of HAdV-D26 capsid provides a better understanding of protein-protein interactions in HAdV capsids and facilitates the efforts to modify and/or design adenoviral vectors with altered properties. Last but not least, we provide some insights into clotting factors (e.g., FX and PF4) binding to AdV vectors.


Subject(s)
Adenoviruses, Human/chemistry , Capsid/chemistry , Capsid/ultrastructure , Cryoelectron Microscopy/methods , Adenoviruses, Human/genetics , Capsid Proteins/genetics , Humans , Models, Molecular , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Virus Assembly , Virus Internalization
4.
J Immunol Methods ; 500: 113182, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768318

ABSTRACT

Serology tests for SARS-CoV-2 have proven to be important tools to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. These serological tests can be used in low-income and remote areas for patient contact tracing, epidemiologic studies and vaccine efficacy evaluations. In this study, we used a semi-stable mammalian episomal expression system to produce high quantities of the receptor-binding domain-RBD of SARS-CoV-2 in a simple and very economical way. The recombinant antigen was tested in an in-house IgG ELISA for COVID-19 with a panel of human sera. A performance comparison of this serology test with a commercial test based on the full-length spike protein showed 100% of concordance between tests. Thus, this serological test can be an attractive and inexpensive option in scenarios of limited resources to face the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19 Serological Testing/economics , Costs and Cost Analysis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Genetic Engineering , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/genetics , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(6)2022 Mar 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732071

ABSTRACT

Nanobodies provide important advantages over traditional antibodies, including their smaller size and robust biochemical properties such as high thermal stability, high solubility, and the ability to be bioengineered into novel multivalent, multi-specific, and high-affinity molecules, making them a class of emerging powerful therapies against SARS-CoV-2. Recent research efforts on the design, protein engineering, and structure-functional characterization of nanobodies and their binding with SARS-CoV-2 S proteins reflected a growing realization that nanobody combinations can exploit distinct binding epitopes and leverage the intrinsic plasticity of the conformational landscape for the SARS-CoV-2 S protein to produce efficient neutralizing and mutation resistant characteristics. Structural and computational studies have also been instrumental in quantifying the structure, dynamics, and energetics of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binding with nanobodies. In this review, a comprehensive analysis of the current structural, biophysical, and computational biology investigations of SARS-CoV-2 S proteins and their complexes with distinct classes of nanobodies targeting different binding sites is presented. The analysis of computational studies is supplemented by an in-depth examination of mutational scanning simulations and identification of binding energy hotspots for distinct nanobody classes. The review is focused on the analysis of mechanisms underlying synergistic binding of multivalent nanobodies that can be superior to single nanobodies and conventional nanobody cocktails in combating escape mutations by effectively leveraging binding avidity and allosteric cooperativity. We discuss how structural insights and protein engineering approaches together with computational biology tools can aid in the rational design of synergistic combinations that exhibit superior binding and neutralization characteristics owing to avidity-mediated mechanisms.


Subject(s)
Binding Sites , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Amino Acids , Antibody Affinity , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/metabolism , Humans , Multiprotein Complexes/chemistry , Mutagenesis , Protein Binding , Protein Engineering , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
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
7.
J Mol Biol ; 434(9): 167516, 2022 05 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712817

ABSTRACT

Stress granule (SG) formation mediated by Ras GTPase-activating protein-binding protein 1 (G3BP1) constitutes a key obstacle for viral replication, which makes G3BP1 a frequent target for viruses. For instance, the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein interacts with G3BP1 directly to suppress SG assembly and promote viral production. However, the molecular basis for the SARS-CoV-2 N - G3BP1 interaction remains elusive. Here we report biochemical and structural analyses of the SARS-CoV-2 N - G3BP1 interaction, revealing differential contributions of various regions of SARS-CoV-2 N to G3BP1 binding. The crystal structure of the NTF2-like domain of G3BP1 (G3BP1NTF2) in complex with a peptide derived from SARS-CoV-2 N (residues 1-25, N1-25) reveals that SARS-CoV-2 N1-25 occupies a conserved surface groove of G3BP1NTF2 via surface complementarity. We show that a φ-x-F (φ, hydrophobic residue) motif constitutes the primary determinant for G3BP1NTF2-targeting proteins, while the flanking sequence underpins diverse secondary interactions. We demonstrate that mutation of key interaction residues of the SARS-CoV-2 N1-25 - G3BP1NTF2 complex leads to disruption of the SARS-CoV-2 N - G3BP1 interaction in vitro. Together, these results provide a molecular basis of the strain-specific interaction between SARS-CoV-2 N and G3BP1, which has important implications for the development of novel therapeutic strategies against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , DNA Helicases , Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , RNA Helicases , SARS-CoV-2 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Crystallography , DNA Helicases/chemistry , Humans , Mutation , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins/chemistry , RNA Helicases/chemistry , RNA Recognition Motif Proteins/chemistry
8.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 148: 112756, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708753

ABSTRACT

The 2019 corona virus disease (COVID-19) has caused a global chaos, where a novel Omicron variant has challenged the healthcare system, followed by which it has been referred to as a variant of concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization (WHO), owing to its alarming transmission and infectivity rate. The large number of mutations in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein is responsible for strengthening of the spike-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) interaction, thereby explaining the elevated threat. This is supplemented by enhanced resistance of the variant towards pre-existing antibodies approved for the COVID-19 therapy. The manuscript brings into light failure of existing therapies to provide the desired effect, however simultaneously discussing the novel possibilities on the verge of establishing suitable treatment portfolio. The authors entail the risks associated with omicron resistance against antibodies and vaccine ineffectiveness on one side, and novel approaches and targets - kinase inhibitors, viral protease inhibitors, phytoconstituents, entry pathways - on the other. The manuscript aims to provide a holistic picture about the Omicron variant, by providing comprehensive discussions related to multiple aspects of the mutated spike variant, which might aid the global researchers and healthcare experts in finding an optimised solution to this pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cathepsins/metabolism , ErbB Receptors/antagonists & inhibitors , Humans , Immunization Schedule , Immunization, Secondary , Phytotherapy/methods , Plants, Medicinal , Protein Binding/physiology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/physiology , Protein Structural Elements/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Viral Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use
10.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702075

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein mediates attachment of the virus to the host cell receptor and fusion between the virus and the cell membrane. The S1 subunit of the spike glycoprotein (S1 protein) contains the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding domain. The SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern contain mutations in the S1 subunit. The spike protein is the primary target of neutralizing antibodies generated following infection, and constitutes the viral component of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. METHODS: Therefore, in this work we assessed the effect of exposure (24 h) to 10 nM SARS-CoV-2 recombinant S1 protein on physiologically relevant human bronchial (bro) and alveolar (alv) lung mucosa models cultured at air-liquid interface (ALI) (n = 6 per exposure condition). Corresponding sham exposed samples served as a control. The bro-ALI model was developed using primary bronchial epithelial cells and the alv-ALI model using representative type II pneumocytes (NCI-H441). RESULTS: Exposure to S1 protein induced the surface expression of ACE2, toll like receptor (TLR) 2, and TLR4 in both bro-ALI and alv-ALI models. Transcript expression analysis identified 117 (bro-ALI) and 97 (alv-ALI) differentially regulated genes (p ≤ 0.01). Pathway analysis revealed enrichment of canonical pathways such as interferon (IFN) signaling, influenza, coronavirus, and anti-viral response in the bro-ALI. Secreted levels of interleukin (IL) 4 and IL12 were significantly (p < 0.05) increased, whereas IL6 decreased in the bro-ALI. In the case of alv-ALI, enriched terms involving p53, APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) tight junction, integrin kinase, and IL1 signaling were identified. These terms are associated with lung fibrosis. Further, significantly (p < 0.05) increased levels of secreted pro-inflammatory cytokines IFNγ, IL1ꞵ, IL2, IL4, IL6, IL8, IL10, IL13, and tumor necrosis factor alpha were detected in alv-ALI, whereas IL12 was decreased. Altered levels of these cytokines are also associated with lung fibrotic response. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, we observed a typical anti-viral response in the bronchial model and a pro-fibrotic response in the alveolar model. The bro-ALI and alv-ALI models may serve as an easy and robust platform for assessing the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern at different lung regions.


Subject(s)
Lung/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Bronchi/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Models, Biological , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Toll-Like Receptor 2/metabolism , Toll-Like Receptor 4/metabolism
11.
J Virol ; 96(3): e0184221, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691423

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a beta coronavirus that emerged in 2012, causing severe pneumonia and renal failure. MERS-CoV encodes five accessory proteins. Some of them have been shown to interfere with host antiviral immune response. However, the roles of protein 8b in innate immunity and viral virulence was rarely studied. Here, we introduced individual MERS-CoV accessory protein genes into the genome of an attenuated murine coronavirus (Mouse hepatitis virus, MHV), respectively, and found accessory protein 8b could enhance viral replication in vivo and in vitro and increase the lethality of infected mice. RNA-seq analysis revealed that protein 8b could significantly inhibit type I interferon production (IFN-I) and innate immune response in mice infected with MHV expressing protein 8b. We also found that MERS-CoV protein 8b could initiate from multiple internal methionine sites and at least three protein variants were identified. Residues 1-23 of protein 8b was demonstrated to be responsible for increased virulence in vivo. In addition, the inhibitory effect on IFN-I of protein 8b might not contribute to its virulence enhancement as aa1-23 deletion did not affect IFN-I production in vitro and in vivo. Next, we also found that protein 8b was localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/Golgi membrane in infected cells, which was disrupted by C-terminal region aa 88-112 deletion. This study will provide new insight into the pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection. IMPORTANCE Multiple coronaviruses (CoV) cause severe respiratory infections and become global public health threats such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. Each coronavirus contains different numbers of accessory proteins which show high variability among different CoVs. Accessory proteins are demonstrated to play essential roles in pathogenesis of CoVs. MERS-CoV contains 5 accessory proteins (protein 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 8b), and deletion of all four accessory proteins (protein 3, 4a, 4b, 5), significantly affects MERS-CoV replication and pathogenesis. However, whether ORF8b also regulates MERS-CoV infection is unknown. Here, we constructed mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) recombinant virus expressing MERS-CoV protein 8b and demonstrated protein 8b could significantly enhance the virulence of MHV, which is mediated by N-terminal domain of protein 8b. This study will shed light on the understanding of pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection.


Subject(s)
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Murine hepatitis virus/physiology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Mice , Mortality , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Tropism , Virulence/genetics , Virulence Factors/genetics
12.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 44, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683982

ABSTRACT

The wide transmission and host adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 have led to the rapid accumulation of mutations, posing significant challenges to the effectiveness of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. Although several neutralizing antibodies were authorized for emergency clinical use, convalescent patients derived natural antibodies are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 Spike mutation. Here, we describe the screen of a panel of SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) targeted nanobodies (Nbs) from a synthetic library and the design of a biparatopic Nb, named Nb1-Nb2, with tight affinity and super-wide neutralization breadth against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Deep-mutational scanning experiments identify the potential binding epitopes of the Nbs on the RBD and demonstrate that biparatopic Nb1-Nb2 has a strong escape-resistant feature against more than 60 tested RBD amino acid substitutions. Using pseudovirion-based and trans-complementation SARS-CoV-2 tools, we determine that the Nb1-Nb2 broadly neutralizes multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants at sub-nanomolar levels, including Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), Delta (B.1.617.2), Lambda (C.37), Kappa (B.1.617.1), and Mu (B.1.621). Furthermore, a heavy-chain antibody is constructed by fusing the human IgG1 Fc to Nb1-Nb2 (designated as Nb1-Nb2-Fc) to improve its neutralization potency, yield, stability, and potential half-life extension. For the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) that harbors unprecedented multiple RBD mutations, Nb1-Nb2-Fc keeps a firm affinity (KD < 1.0 × 10-12 M) and strong neutralizing activity (IC50 = 1.46 nM for authentic Omicron virus). Together, we developed a tetravalent biparatopic human heavy-chain antibody with ultrapotent and broad-spectrum SARS-CoV-2 neutralization activity which highlights the potential clinical applications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/pharmacology , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody Affinity , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/biosynthesis , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/genetics , Models, Molecular , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/biosynthesis , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
13.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(3)2022 Feb 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674672

ABSTRACT

The inflammatory protease caspase-1 is associated with the release of cytokines. An excessive number of cytokines (a "cytokine storm") is a dangerous consequence of COVID-19 infection and has been indicated as being among the causes of death by COVID-19. The anti-inflammatory drug colchicine (which is reported in the literature to be a caspase-1 inhibitor) and the corticosteroid drugs, dexamethasone and methylprednisolone, are among the most effective active compounds for COVID-19 treatment. The SERM raloxifene has also been used as a repurposed drug in COVID-19 therapy. In this study, inhibition of caspase-1 by these four compounds was analyzed using computational methods. Our aim was to see if the inhibition of caspase-1, an important biomolecule in the inflammatory response that triggers cytokine release, could shed light on how these drugs help to alleviate excessive cytokine production. We also measured the antioxidant activities of dexamethasone and colchicine when scavenging the superoxide radical using cyclic voltammetry methods. The experimental findings are associated with caspase-1 active site affinity towards these compounds. In evaluating our computational and experimental results, we here formulate a mechanism for caspase-1 inhibition by these drugs, which involves the active site amino acid Cys285 residue and is mediated by a transfer of protons, involving His237 and Ser339. It is proposed that the molecular moiety targeted by all of these drugs is a carbonyl group which establishes a S(Cys285)-C(carbonyl) covalent bond.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Caspase 1/drug effects , Caspase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/metabolism , Caspase 1/chemistry , Caspase 1/metabolism , Caspase Inhibitors/chemistry , Colchicine/chemistry , Colchicine/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Dexamethasone/pharmacology , Humans , Models, Molecular , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pentacyclic Triterpenes/pharmacology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Raloxifene Hydrochloride/chemistry , Raloxifene Hydrochloride/pharmacology , Viral Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Viral Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology
14.
Science ; 375(6584): 1048-1053, 2022 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673339

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant has become the dominant infective strain. We report the structures of the Omicron spike trimer on its own and in complex with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) or an anti-Omicron antibody. Most Omicron mutations are located on the surface of the spike protein and change binding epitopes to many current antibodies. In the ACE2-binding site, compensating mutations strengthen receptor binding domain (RBD) binding to ACE2. Both the RBD and the apo form of the Omicron spike trimer are thermodynamically unstable. An unusual RBD-RBD interaction in the ACE2-spike complex supports the open conformation and further reinforces ACE2 binding to the spike trimer. A broad-spectrum therapeutic antibody, JMB2002, which has completed a phase 1 clinical trial, maintains neutralizing activity against Omicron. JMB2002 binds to RBD differently from other characterized antibodies and inhibits ACE2 binding.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Epitopes , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/chemistry , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/immunology , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Protein Multimerization , Protein Subunits/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Thermodynamics
15.
Cell Chem Biol ; 29(2): 215-225.e5, 2022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664751

ABSTRACT

Coagulation cofactors profoundly regulate hemostasis and are appealing targets for anticoagulants. However, targeting such proteins has been challenging because they lack an active site. To address this, we isolate an RNA aptamer termed T18.3 that binds to both factor V (FV) and FVa with nanomolar affinity and demonstrates clinically relevant anticoagulant activity in both plasma and whole blood. The aptamer also shows synergy with low molecular weight heparin and delivers potent anticoagulation in plasma collected from patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Moreover, the aptamer's anticoagulant activity can be rapidly and efficiently reversed using protamine sulfate, which potentially allows fine-tuning of aptamer's activity post-administration. We further show that the aptamer achieves its anticoagulant activity by abrogating FV/FVa interactions with phospholipid membranes. Our success in generating an anticoagulant aptamer targeting FV/Va demonstrates the feasibility of using cofactor-binding aptamers as therapeutic protein inhibitors and reveals an unconventional working mechanism of an aptamer by interrupting protein-membrane interactions.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Aptamers, Nucleotide/pharmacology , Blood Coagulation/drug effects , Factor V/antagonists & inhibitors , Factor Va/antagonists & inhibitors , Amino Acid Sequence , Anticoagulants/chemistry , Anticoagulants/metabolism , Aptamers, Nucleotide/chemistry , Aptamers, Nucleotide/metabolism , Base Pairing , Binding Sites , COVID-19/blood , Cell Membrane/chemistry , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Factor V/chemistry , Factor V/genetics , Factor V/metabolism , Factor Va/chemistry , Factor Va/genetics , Factor Va/metabolism , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/chemistry , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/metabolism , Humans , Immune Sera/chemistry , Immune Sera/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Protamines , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SELEX Aptamer Technique , Substrate Specificity , COVID-19 Drug Treatment
16.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 23, 2022 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655541
17.
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
18.
Science ; 375(6582): 782-787, 2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650668

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Beta variant of concern (VOC) resists neutralization by major classes of antibodies from COVID-19 patients and vaccinated individuals. In this study, serum of Beta-infected patients revealed reduced cross-neutralization of wild-type virus. From these patients, we isolated Beta-specific and cross-reactive receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibodies. The Beta-specificity results from recruitment of VOC-specific clonotypes and accommodation of mutations present in Beta and Omicron into a major antibody class that is normally sensitive to these mutations. The Beta-elicited cross-reactive antibodies share genetic and structural features with wild type-elicited antibodies, including a public VH1-58 clonotype that targets the RBD ridge. These findings advance our understanding of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 shaped by antigenic drift, with implications for design of next-generation vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antigenic Drift and Shift , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
19.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(6)2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650946

ABSTRACT

The development of small-molecules targeting different components of SARS-CoV-2 is a key strategy to complement antibody-based treatments and vaccination campaigns in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we show that two thiol-based chemical probes that act as reducing agents, P2119 and P2165, inhibit infection by human coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and decrease the binding of spike glycoprotein to its receptor, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Proteomics and reactive cysteine profiling link the antiviral activity to the reduction of key disulfides, specifically by disruption of the Cys379-Cys432 and Cys391-Cys525 pairs distal to the receptor binding motif in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike glycoprotein. Computational analyses provide insight into conformation changes that occur when these disulfides break or form, consistent with an allosteric role, and indicate that P2119/P2165 target a conserved hydrophobic binding pocket in the RBD with the benzyl thiol-reducing moiety pointed directly toward Cys432. These collective findings establish the vulnerability of human coronaviruses to thiol-based chemical probes and lay the groundwork for developing compounds of this class, as a strategy to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 infection by shifting the spike glycoprotein redox scaffold.


Subject(s)
Amino Alcohols/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Phenyl Ethers/pharmacology , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Sulfhydryl Compounds/pharmacology , Allosteric Regulation , Amino Alcohols/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Disulfides/antagonists & inhibitors , Disulfides/chemistry , Disulfides/metabolism , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nasal Mucosa/drug effects , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Oxidation-Reduction , Phenyl Ethers/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Receptors, Virus/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Sulfhydryl Compounds/chemistry , COVID-19 Drug Treatment
20.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262868, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643287

ABSTRACT

A serological COVID-19 Multiplex Assay was developed and validated using serum samples from convalescent patients and those collected prior to the 2020 pandemic. After initial testing of multiple potential antigens, the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (NP) and receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein were selected for the human COVID-19 Multiplex Assay. A comparison of synthesized and mammalian expressed RBD proteins revealed clear advantages of mammalian expression. Antibodies directed against NP strongly correlated with SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralization assay titers (rsp = 0.726), while anti-RBD correlation was moderate (rsp = 0.436). Pan-Ig, IgG, IgA, and IgM against NP and RBD antigens were evaluated on the validation sample sets. Detection of NP and RBD specific IgG and IgA had outstanding performance (AUC > 0.90) for distinguishing patients from controls, but the dynamic range of the IgG assay was substantially greater. The COVID-19 Multiplex Assay was utilized to identify seroprevalence to SARS-CoV-2 in people living in a low-incidence community in Ithaca, NY. Samples were taken from a cohort of healthy volunteers (n = 332) in early June 2020. Only two volunteers had a positive result on a COVID-19 PCR test performed prior to serum sampling. Serological testing revealed an exposure rate of at least 1.2% (NP) or as high as 5.7% (RBD), higher than the measured incidence rate of 0.16% in the county at that time. This highly sensitive and quantitative assay can be used for monitoring community exposure rates and duration of immune response following both infection and vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/chemistry , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/chemistry , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/chemistry , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , New York/epidemiology , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
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