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1.
J Biol Chem ; 297(6): 101362, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751075

ABSTRACT

The Nsp9 replicase is a conserved coronaviral protein that acts as an essential accessory component of the multi-subunit viral replication/transcription complex. Nsp9 is the predominant substrate for the essential nucleotidylation activity of Nsp12. Compounds specifically interfering with this viral activity would facilitate its study. Using a native mass-spectrometry-based approach to screen a natural product library for Nsp9 binders, we identified an ent-kaurane natural product, oridonin, capable of binding to purified SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9 with micromolar affinities. By determining the crystal structure of the Nsp9-oridonin complex, we showed that oridonin binds through a conserved site near Nsp9's C-terminal GxxxG-helix. In enzymatic assays, oridonin's binding to Nsp9 reduces its potential to act as substrate for Nsp12's Nidovirus RdRp-Associated Nucleotidyl transferase (NiRAN) domain. We also showed using in vitro cellular assays oridonin, while cytotoxic at higher doses has broad antiviral activity, reducing viral titer following infection with either SARS-CoV-2 or, to a lesser extent, MERS-CoV. Accordingly, these preliminary findings suggest that the oridonin molecular scaffold may have the potential to be developed into an antiviral compound to inhibit the function of Nsp9 during coronaviral replication.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Diterpenes, Kaurane/pharmacology , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites/drug effects , Biological Products/chemistry , Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Diterpenes, Kaurane/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
2.
J Biol Chem ; 297(6): 101362, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545135

ABSTRACT

The Nsp9 replicase is a conserved coronaviral protein that acts as an essential accessory component of the multi-subunit viral replication/transcription complex. Nsp9 is the predominant substrate for the essential nucleotidylation activity of Nsp12. Compounds specifically interfering with this viral activity would facilitate its study. Using a native mass-spectrometry-based approach to screen a natural product library for Nsp9 binders, we identified an ent-kaurane natural product, oridonin, capable of binding to purified SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9 with micromolar affinities. By determining the crystal structure of the Nsp9-oridonin complex, we showed that oridonin binds through a conserved site near Nsp9's C-terminal GxxxG-helix. In enzymatic assays, oridonin's binding to Nsp9 reduces its potential to act as substrate for Nsp12's Nidovirus RdRp-Associated Nucleotidyl transferase (NiRAN) domain. We also showed using in vitro cellular assays oridonin, while cytotoxic at higher doses has broad antiviral activity, reducing viral titer following infection with either SARS-CoV-2 or, to a lesser extent, MERS-CoV. Accordingly, these preliminary findings suggest that the oridonin molecular scaffold may have the potential to be developed into an antiviral compound to inhibit the function of Nsp9 during coronaviral replication.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Diterpenes, Kaurane/pharmacology , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites/drug effects , Biological Products/chemistry , Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Diterpenes, Kaurane/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
3.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(10): e1009726, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484867

ABSTRACT

The zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP) is a broad inhibitor of virus replication. Its best-characterized function is to bind CpG dinucleotides present in viral RNAs and, through the recruitment of TRIM25, KHNYN and other cofactors, target them for degradation or prevent their translation. The long and short isoforms of ZAP (ZAP-L and ZAP-S) have different intracellular localization and it is unclear how this regulates their antiviral activity against viruses with different sites of replication. Using ZAP-sensitive and ZAP-insensitive human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1), which transcribe the viral RNA in the nucleus and assemble virions at the plasma membrane, we show that the catalytically inactive poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) domain in ZAP-L is essential for CpG-specific viral restriction. Mutation of a crucial cysteine in the C-terminal CaaX box that mediates S-farnesylation and, to a lesser extent, the residues in place of the catalytic site triad within the PARP domain, disrupted the activity of ZAP-L. Addition of the CaaX box to ZAP-S partly restored antiviral activity, explaining why ZAP-S lacks antiviral activity for CpG-enriched HIV-1 despite conservation of the RNA-binding domain. Confocal microscopy confirmed the CaaX motif mediated localization of ZAP-L to vesicular structures and enhanced physical association with intracellular membranes. Importantly, the PARP domain and CaaX box together jointly modulate the interaction between ZAP-L and its cofactors TRIM25 and KHNYN, implying that its proper subcellular localisation is required to establish an antiviral complex. The essential contribution of the PARP domain and CaaX box to ZAP-L antiviral activity was further confirmed by inhibition of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replication, which replicates in double-membrane vesicles derived from the endoplasmic reticulum. Thus, compartmentalization of ZAP-L on intracellular membranes provides an essential effector function in ZAP-L-mediated antiviral activity against divergent viruses with different subcellular replication sites.


Subject(s)
Prenylation/physiology , RNA Viruses/drug effects , RNA-Binding Proteins/pharmacology , Virus Replication/physiology , CpG Islands/physiology , HEK293 Cells , HIV-1/physiology , HeLa Cells , Humans , RNA Viruses/physiology , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Binding Motifs/physiology , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transfection , Virus Replication/drug effects
4.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 190: 636-648, 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401500

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein undergoes RNA-induced phase separation (LLPS) and sequesters the host key stress granule (SG) proteins, Ras-GTPase-activating protein SH3-domain-binding protein 1 and 2 (G3BP1 and G3BP2) to inhibit SG formation. This will allow viral packaging and propagation in host cells. Based on a genomic-guided meta-analysis, here we identify upstream regulatory elements modulating the expression of G3BP1 and G3BP2 (collectively called G3BP1/2). Using this strategy, we have identified FOXA1, YY1, SYK, E2F-1, and TGFBR2 as activators and SIN3A, SRF, and AKT-1 as repressors of G3BP1/2 genes. Panels of the activators and repressors were then used to identify drugs that change their gene expression signatures. Two drugs, imatinib, and decitabine have been identified as putative modulators of G3BP1/2 genes and their regulators, suggesting their role as COVID-19 mitigation agents. Molecular docking analysis suggests that both drugs bind to G3BP1/2 with a much higher affinity than the SARS-CoV-2 N protein. This study reports imatinib and decitabine as candidate drugs against N protein and G3BP1/2 protein.


Subject(s)
Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , DNA Helicases/chemistry , Decitabine/chemistry , Imatinib Mesylate/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins/chemistry , RNA Helicases/chemistry , RNA Recognition Motif Proteins/chemistry , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/antagonists & inhibitors , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , DNA Helicases/antagonists & inhibitors , DNA Helicases/metabolism , Decitabine/pharmacology , Drug Delivery Systems , Genomics , Imatinib Mesylate/pharmacology , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins/metabolism , RNA Helicases/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA Helicases/metabolism , RNA Recognition Motif Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA Recognition Motif Proteins/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
5.
Cell ; 184(1): 184-193.e10, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385213

ABSTRACT

Transcription of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA requires sequential reactions facilitated by the replication and transcription complex (RTC). Here, we present a structural snapshot of SARS-CoV-2 RTC as it transitions toward cap structure synthesis. We determine the atomic cryo-EM structure of an extended RTC assembled by nsp7-nsp82-nsp12-nsp132-RNA and a single RNA-binding protein, nsp9. Nsp9 binds tightly to nsp12 (RdRp) NiRAN, allowing nsp9 N terminus inserting into the catalytic center of nsp12 NiRAN, which then inhibits activity. We also show that nsp12 NiRAN possesses guanylyltransferase activity, catalyzing the formation of cap core structure (GpppA). The orientation of nsp13 that anchors the 5' extension of template RNA shows a remarkable conformational shift, resulting in zinc finger 3 of its ZBD inserting into a minor groove of paired template-primer RNA. These results reason an intermediate state of RTC toward mRNA synthesis, pave a way to understand the RTC architecture, and provide a target for antiviral development.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Cryoelectron Microscopy , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Replicase Complex Proteins/chemistry , Amino Acid Sequence , Coronavirus/chemistry , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/enzymology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Models, Molecular , RNA Helicases/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Sequence Alignment , Transcription, Genetic , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication
6.
Proteins ; 90(1): 176-185, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347427

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel, highly infectious RNA virus that belongs to the coronavirus family. Replication of the viral genome is a fundamental step in the virus life cycle and SARS-CoV-2 non-structural protein 9 (Nsp9) is shown to be essential for virus replication through its ability to bind RNA in the closely related SARS-CoV-1 strain. Two recent studies revealing the three-dimensional structure of Nsp9 from SARS-CoV-2 have demonstrated a high degree of similarity between Nsp9 proteins within the coronavirus family. However, the binding affinity to RNA is very low which, until now, has prevented the determination of the structural details of this interaction. In this study, we have utilized nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) in combination with surface biolayer interferometry (BLI) to reveal a distinct binding interface for both ssDNA and RNA that is different to the one proposed in the recently solved SARS-CoV-2 replication and transcription complex (RTC) structure. Based on these data, we have proposed a structural model of a Nsp9-RNA complex, shedding light on the molecular details of these important interactions.


Subject(s)
DNA, Single-Stranded/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Binding Sites , Interferometry , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , Models, Molecular , Protein Conformation , Protein Multimerization , RNA , Solutions
7.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(15): 8822-8835, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343703

ABSTRACT

The catalytic subunit of SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) contains two active sites that catalyze nucleotidyl-monophosphate transfer (NMPylation). Mechanistic studies and drug discovery have focused on RNA synthesis by the highly conserved RdRp. The second active site, which resides in a Nidovirus RdRp-Associated Nucleotidyl transferase (NiRAN) domain, is poorly characterized, but both catalytic reactions are essential for viral replication. One study showed that NiRAN transfers NMP to the first residue of RNA-binding protein nsp9; another reported a structure of nsp9 containing two additional N-terminal residues bound to the NiRAN active site but observed NMP transfer to RNA instead. We show that SARS-CoV-2 RdRp NMPylates the native but not the extended nsp9. Substitutions of the invariant NiRAN residues abolish NMPylation, whereas substitution of a catalytic RdRp Asp residue does not. NMPylation can utilize diverse nucleotide triphosphates, including remdesivir triphosphate, is reversible in the presence of pyrophosphate, and is inhibited by nucleotide analogs and bisphosphonates, suggesting a path for rational design of NiRAN inhibitors. We reconcile these and existing findings using a new model in which nsp9 remodels both active sites to alternately support initiation of RNA synthesis by RdRp or subsequent capping of the product RNA by the NiRAN domain.


Subject(s)
Nidovirales/enzymology , Nucleotides/metabolism , Protein Domains , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Catalytic Domain , Coenzymes/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Diphosphates/pharmacology , Diphosphonates/pharmacology , Guanosine Triphosphate/metabolism , Manganese , Models, Molecular , Nidovirales/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Uridine Triphosphate/metabolism
8.
Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) ; 53(9): 1134-1141, 2021 Aug 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280062

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a global health threat since December 2019, and there is still no highly effective drug to control the pandemic. To facilitate drug target identification for drug development, studies on molecular mechanisms, such as SARS-CoV-2 protein interactions, are urgently needed. In this study, we focused on Nsp2, a non-structural protein with largely unknown function and mechanism. The interactome of Nsp2 was revealed through the combination of affinity purification mass spectrometry (AP-MS) and stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC), and 84 proteins of high-confidence were identified. Gene ontology analysis demonstrated that Nsp2-interacting proteins are involved in several biological processes such as endosome transport and translation. Network analysis generated two clusters, including ribosome assembly and vesicular transport. Bio-layer interferometry (BLI) assay confirmed the bindings between Nsp2- and 4-interacting proteins, i.e. STAU2 (Staufen2), HNRNPLL, ATP6V1B2, and RAP1GDS1 (SmgGDS), which were randomly selected from the list of 84 proteins. Our findings provide insights into the Nsp2-host interplay and indicate that Nsp2 may play important roles in SARS-CoV-2 infection and serve as a potential drug target for anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Drug Delivery Systems , Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors/chemistry , Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins/chemistry , Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins/metabolism , Humans , Nerve Tissue Proteins/chemistry , Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases/chemistry , Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
9.
EMBO J ; 40(11): e102277, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194823

ABSTRACT

The ongoing outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) demonstrates the continuous threat of emerging coronaviruses (CoVs) to public health. SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV share an otherwise non-conserved part of non-structural protein 3 (Nsp3), therefore named as "SARS-unique domain" (SUD). We previously found a yeast-2-hybrid screen interaction of the SARS-CoV SUD with human poly(A)-binding protein (PABP)-interacting protein 1 (Paip1), a stimulator of protein translation. Here, we validate SARS-CoV SUD:Paip1 interaction by size-exclusion chromatography, split-yellow fluorescent protein, and co-immunoprecipitation assays, and confirm such interaction also between the corresponding domain of SARS-CoV-2 and Paip1. The three-dimensional structure of the N-terminal domain of SARS-CoV SUD ("macrodomain II", Mac2) in complex with the middle domain of Paip1, determined by X-ray crystallography and small-angle X-ray scattering, provides insights into the structural determinants of the complex formation. In cellulo, SUD enhances synthesis of viral but not host proteins via binding to Paip1 in pBAC-SARS-CoV replicon-transfected cells. We propose a possible mechanism for stimulation of viral translation by the SUD of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Peptide Initiation Factors/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Bacterial Proteins , Chromatography, Gel , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Crystallography, X-Ray , Genes, Reporter , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoprecipitation , Luminescent Proteins , Models, Molecular , Peptide Initiation Factors/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Biosynthesis , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Mapping , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/metabolism , Ribosome Subunits/metabolism , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Scattering, Small Angle , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , X-Ray Diffraction
10.
Biomol NMR Assign ; 15(2): 235-241, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146127

ABSTRACT

As part of an International consortium aiming at the characterization by NMR of the proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we have obtained the virtually complete assignment of the backbone atoms of the non-structural protein nsp9. This small (12 kDa) protein is encoded by ORF1a, binds to RNA and seems to be essential for viral RNA synthesis. The crystal structures of the SARS-CoV-2 protein and other homologues suggest that the protein is dimeric as also confirmed by analytical ultracentrifugation and dynamic light scattering. Our data constitute the prerequisite for further NMR-based characterization, and provide the starting point for the identification of small molecule lead compounds that could interfere with RNA binding and prevent viral replication.


Subject(s)
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Models, Molecular , Protein Structure, Secondary
11.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 538: 54-62, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125913

ABSTRACT

Unprecedented by number of casualties and socio-economic burden occurring worldwide, the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the worst health crisis of this century. In order to develop adequate countermeasures against Covid-19, identification and structural characterization of suitable antiviral targets within the SARS-CoV-2 protein repertoire is urgently needed. The nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (N) is a multifunctional and highly immunogenic determinant of virulence and pathogenicity, whose main functions consist in oligomerizing and packaging the single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) viral genome. Here we report the structural and biophysical characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 N C-terminal domain (CTD), on which both N homo-oligomerization and ssRNA binding depend. Crystal structures solved at 1.44 Å and 1.36 Å resolution describe a rhombus-shape N CTD dimer, which stably exists in solution as validated by size-exclusion chromatography coupled to multi-angle light scattering and analytical ultracentrifugation. Differential scanning fluorimetry revealed moderate thermal stability and a tendency towards conformational change. Microscale thermophoresis demonstrated binding to a 7-bp SARS-CoV-2 genomic ssRNA fragment at micromolar affinity. Furthermore, a low-resolution preliminary model of the full-length SARS-CoV N in complex with ssRNA, obtained by cryo-electron microscopy, provides an initial understanding of self-associating and RNA binding functions exerted by the SARS-CoV-2 N.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Multimerization , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics
12.
Biophys J ; 120(6): 1085-1096, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033766

ABSTRACT

This work builds upon the record-breaking speed and generous immediate release of new experimental three-dimensional structures of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) proteins and complexes, which are crucial to downstream vaccine and drug development. We have surveyed those structures to catch the occasional errors that could be significant for those important uses and for which we were able to provide demonstrably higher-accuracy corrections. This process relied on new validation and correction methods such as CaBLAM and ISOLDE, which are not yet in routine use. We found such important and correctable problems in seven early SARS-CoV-2 structures. Two of the structures were soon superseded by new higher-resolution data, confirming our proposed changes. For the other five, we emailed the depositors a documented and illustrated report and encouraged them to make the model corrections themselves and use the new option at the worldwide Protein Data Bank for depositors to re-version their coordinates without changing the Protein Data Bank code. This quickly and easily makes the better-accuracy coordinates available to anyone who examines or downloads their structure, even before formal publication. The changes have involved sequence misalignments, incorrect RNA conformations near a bound inhibitor, incorrect metal ligands, and cis-trans or peptide flips that prevent good contact at interaction sites. These improvements have propagated into nearly all related structures done afterward. This process constitutes a new form of highly rigorous peer review, which is actually faster and more strict than standard publication review because it has access to coordinates and maps; journal peer review would also be strengthened by such access.


Subject(s)
Peer Review , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral , Catalytic Domain , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/metabolism , Humans , Models, Molecular , Nucleocapsid/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Zinc/metabolism
13.
Intervirology ; 64(2): 55-68, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1032640

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic has resulted in thousands of infections and deaths worldwide. Several therapies are currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the development of new drugs and the repositioning of existing drugs can only be achieved after the identification of potential therapeutic targets within structures, as this strategy provides the most precise solution for developing treatments for sudden epidemic infectious diseases. SUMMARY: In the current investigation, crystal and cryo-electron microscopy structures encoded by the SARS-CoV-2 genome were systematically examined for the identification of potential drug targets. These structures include nonstructural proteins (Nsp-9; Nsp-12; and Nsp-15), nucleocapsid (N) proteins, and the main protease (Mpro). Key Message: The structural information reveals the presence of many potential alternative therapeutic targets, primarily involved in interaction between N protein and Nsp3, forming replication-transcription complexes (RTCs) which might be a potential drug target for effective control of current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. RTCs consist of 16 nonstructural proteins (Nsp1-16) that play the most essential role in the synthesis of viral RNA. Targeting the physical linkage between the envelope and single-stranded positive RNA, a process facilitated by matrix proteins may provide a good alternative strategy. Our current study provides useful information for the development of new lead compounds against SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Models, Molecular , Molecular Targeted Therapy , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
14.
Biomol NMR Assign ; 15(1): 107-116, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002175

ABSTRACT

The Betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 non-structural protein Nsp9 is a 113-residue protein that is essential for viral replication, and consequently, a potential target for the development of therapeutics against COVID19 infections. To capture insights into the dynamics of the protein's backbone in solution and accelerate the identification and mapping of ligand-binding surfaces through chemical shift perturbation studies, the backbone 1H, 13C, and 15N NMR chemical shifts for Nsp9 have been extensively assigned. These assignments were assisted by the preparation of an ~ 70% deuterated sample and residue-specific, 15N-labelled samples (V, L, M, F, and K). A major feature of the assignments was the "missing" amide resonances for N96-L106 in the 1H-15N HSQC spectrum, a region that comprises almost the complete C-terminal α-helix that forms a major part of the homodimer interface in the crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9, suggesting this region either undergoes intermediate motion in the ms to µs timescale and/or is heterogenous. These "missing" amide resonances do not unambiguously appear in the 1H-15N HSQC spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9 collected at a concentration of 0.0007 mM. At this concentration, at the detection limit, native mass spectrometry indicates the protein is exclusively in the monomeric state, suggesting the intermediate motion in the C-terminal of Nsp9 may be due to intramolecular dynamics. Perhaps this intermediate ms to µs timescale dynamics is the physical basis for a previously suggested "fluidity" of the C-terminal helix that may be responsible for homophilic (Nsp9-Nsp9) and postulated heterophilic (Nsp9-Unknown) protein-protein interactions.


Subject(s)
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Binding Sites , Carbon Isotopes , Codon , Crystallography, X-Ray , Dimerization , Disulfides , Hydrogen , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Kinetics , Ligands , Nitrogen Isotopes , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Structure, Secondary
15.
mBio ; 11(5)2020 10 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-873466

ABSTRACT

Recent evidence shows that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is sensitive to interferons (IFNs). However, the most effective types of IFNs and the underlying antiviral effectors remain to be defined. Here, we show that zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP), which preferentially targets CpG dinucleotides in viral RNA sequences, restricts SARS-CoV-2. We further demonstrate that ZAP and its cofactors KHNYN and TRIM25 are expressed in human lung cells. Type I, II, and III IFNs all strongly inhibited SARS-CoV-2 and further induced ZAP expression. Comprehensive sequence analyses revealed that SARS-CoV-2 and its closest relatives from horseshoe bats showed the strongest CpG suppression among all known human and bat coronaviruses, respectively. Nevertheless, endogenous ZAP expression restricted SARS-CoV-2 replication in human lung cells, particularly upon treatment with IFN-α or IFN-γ. Both the long and the short isoforms of human ZAP reduced SARS-CoV-2 RNA expression levels, but the former did so with greater efficiency. Finally, we show that the ability to restrict SARS-CoV-2 is conserved in ZAP orthologues of the reservoir bat and potential intermediate pangolin hosts of human coronaviruses. Altogether, our results show that ZAP is an important effector of the innate response against SARS-CoV-2, although this pandemic pathogen emerged from zoonosis of a coronavirus that was preadapted to the low-CpG environment in humans.IMPORTANCE Although interferons inhibit SARS-CoV-2 and have been evaluated for treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the most effective types and antiviral effectors remain to be defined. Here, we show that IFN-γ is particularly potent in restricting SARS-CoV-2 and in inducing expression of the antiviral factor ZAP in human lung cells. Knockdown experiments revealed that endogenous ZAP significantly restricts SARS-CoV-2. We further show that CpG dinucleotides which are specifically targeted by ZAP are strongly suppressed in the SARS-CoV-2 genome and that the two closest horseshoe bat relatives of SARS-CoV-2 show the lowest genomic CpG content of all coronavirus sequences available from this reservoir host. Nonetheless, both the short and long isoforms of human ZAP reduced SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels, and this activity was conserved in horseshoe bat and pangolin ZAP orthologues. Our findings indicating that type II interferon is particularly efficient against SARS-CoV-2 and that ZAP restricts this pandemic viral pathogen might promote the development of effective immune therapies against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , CpG Islands , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/physiology , Gene Expression/drug effects , Genome, Viral , Humans , Interferons/pharmacology , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Protein Isoforms , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication/drug effects
16.
Biochem J ; 477(5): 1009-1019, 2020 03 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-827308

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus is the causative agent of a respiratory disease with a high case fatality rate. During the formation of the coronaviral replication/transcription complex, essential steps include processing of the conserved polyprotein nsp7-10 region by the main protease Mpro and subsequent complex formation of the released nsp's. Here, we analyzed processing of the coronavirus nsp7-10 region using native mass spectrometry showing consumption of substrate, rise and fall of intermediate products and complexation. Importantly, there is a clear order of cleavage efficiencies, which is influenced by the polyprotein tertiary structure. Furthermore, the predominant product is an nsp7+8(2 : 2) hetero-tetramer with nsp8 scaffold. In conclusion, native MS, opposed to other methods, can expose the processing dynamics of viral polyproteins and the landscape of protein interactions in one set of experiments. Thereby, new insights into protein interactions, essential for generation of viral progeny, were provided, with relevance for development of antivirals.


Subject(s)
RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , Sequence Alignment/methods , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/genetics , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Protein Structure, Secondary , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication/physiology
17.
Genomics ; 112(3): 2623-2632, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1478

ABSTRACT

Feature extraction is one of the most important preprocessing steps in predicting the interactions between RNAs and proteins by applying machine learning approaches. Despite many efforts in this area, still, no suitable structural feature extraction tool has been designed. Therefore, an online toolbox, named RPINBASE which can be applied to different scopes of biological applications, is introduced in this paper. This toolbox employs efficient nested queries that enhance the speed of the requests and produces desired features in the form of positive and negative samples. To show the capabilities of the proposed toolbox, the developed toolbox was investigated in the aptamer design problem, and the obtained results are discussed. RPINBASE is an online toolbox and is accessible at http://rpinbase.com.


Subject(s)
RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , RNA/chemistry , Software , Databases, Protein , Internet , Machine Learning , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism
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