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1.
Biochemistry (Mosc) ; 86(7): 800-817, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594970

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, a new human respiratory disease that has killed nearly 3 million people in a year since the start of the pandemic, is a global public health challenge. Its infectious agent, SARS-CoV-2, differs from other coronaviruses in a number of structural features that make this virus more pathogenic and transmissible. In this review, we discuss some important characteristics of the main SARS-CoV-2 surface antigen, the spike (S) protein, such as (i) ability of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) to switch between the "standing-up" position (open pre-fusion conformation) for receptor binding and the "lying-down" position (closed pre-fusion conformation) for immune system evasion; (ii) advantage of a high binding affinity of the RBD open conformation to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor for efficient cell entry; and (iii) S protein preliminary activation by the intracellular furin-like proteases for facilitation of the virus spreading across different cell types. We describe interactions between the S protein and cellular receptors, co-receptors, and antagonists, as well as a hypothetical mechanism of the homotrimeric spike structure destabilization that triggers the fusion of the viral envelope with the cell membrane at physiological pH and mediates the viral nucleocapsid entry into the cytoplasm. The transition of the S protein pre-fusion conformation to the post-fusion one on the surface of virions after their treatment with some reagents, such as ß-propiolactone, is essential, especially in relation to the vaccine production. We also compare the COVID-19 pathogenesis with that of severe outbreaks of "avian" influenza caused by the A/H5 and A/H7 highly pathogenic viruses and discuss the structural similarities between the SARS-CoV-2 S protein and hemagglutinins of those highly pathogenic strains. Finally, we touch on the prospective and currently used COVID-19 antiviral and anti-pathogenetic therapeutics, as well as recently approved conventional and innovative COVID-19 vaccines and their molecular and immunological features.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Humans , Influenza A virus/chemistry , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza A virus/metabolism , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/genetics , Influenza, Human/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
2.
Mikrochim Acta ; 189(1): 34, 2021 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588792

ABSTRACT

DNA is recognized as a powerful biomarker for clinical diagnostics because its specific sequences are closely related to the cause and development of diseases. However, achieving rapid, low-cost, and sensitive detection of short-length target DNA still remains a considerable challenge. Herein, we successfully combine the catalytic hairpin assembly (CHA) technique with capillary action to develop a new and cost-effective method, a target DNA- and pH-responsive DNA hydrogel-based capillary assay, for the naked eye detection of 24 nt short single-stranded target DNA. Upon contact of target DNA, three individual hairpin DNAs hybridize with each other to sufficiently amplify Y-shaped DNA nanostructures (Y-DNA) until they are completely consumed via CHA cycling reactions. Each arm of the resultant Y-DNA contains sticky ends with i-motif DNA structure-forming sequences that can be self-assembled in an acidic environment (pH 5.0) to form target DNA- and pH-responsive DNA hydrogels by means of i-motif DNA-driven crosslinking. When inserting a capillary tube in the resultant solution, the liquid level inside clearly reduces due to the decrease in capillary force induced by the gels. In this way, the developed assay demonstrates sensitive and quantitative detection, with a detection limit of approximately 10 pM of 24 nt short complementary DNA (cDNA) targeting SARS-CoV-2 RNA genes at room temperature within 1 h. The assay is further shown to successfully detect target cDNA in serum, and it is also applied to detect several types of target sequences. Requiring no analytic equipment, precise temperature control, or enzymatic reactions, the developed DNA hydrogel-based capillary assay has potential as a promising naked eye detection platform for target DNA in resource-limited clinical settings.


Subject(s)
Chemistry Techniques, Analytical/methods , DNA, Catalytic/chemistry , DNA, Complementary/analysis , Hydrogels/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Capillary Action , Chemistry Techniques, Analytical/instrumentation , DNA, Catalytic/genetics , DNA, Complementary/genetics , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Inverted Repeat Sequences , Limit of Detection , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Nucleic Acid Hybridization
3.
Bioengineered ; 13(1): 876-883, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585254

ABSTRACT

This research has developed a method for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 N protein on a paper-based microfluidic chip. The chitosan-glutaraldehyde cross-linking method is used to fix the coated antibody, and the sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent method is used to achieve the specific detection of the target antigen. The system studied the influence of coating antibody concentration and enzyme-labeled antibody concentration on target antigen detection. According to the average gray value measured under different N protein concentrations, the standard curve of the method was established and the sensitivity was tested, and its linear regression was obtained. The equation is y = 9.8286x+137.6, R2 = 0.9772 > 0.90, which shows a high degree of fit. When the concentration of coating antibody and enzyme-labeled antibody were 1 µg/mL and 2 µg/mL, P > 0.05, the difference was not statistically significant, so the lower concentration of 1 µg/mL was chosen as the coating antibody concentration. The results show that the minimum concentration of N protein that can be detected by this method is 8 µg/mL, and the minimum concentration of coating antibody and enzyme-labeled antibody is 1 µg/mL, which has the characteristics of high sensitivity and good repeatability.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/instrumentation , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Lab-On-A-Chip Devices , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Biomedical Engineering , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/standards , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/instrumentation , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/standards , Humans , Lab-On-A-Chip Devices/standards , Lab-On-A-Chip Devices/statistics & numerical data , Microchip Analytical Procedures/methods , Microchip Analytical Procedures/standards , Microchip Analytical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Paper , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/standards
4.
Viral Immunol ; 34(3): 165-173, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569564

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic is caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is, in turn, induced by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that triggers an acute respiratory disease. In recent years, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 is the third highly pathogenic event and large-scale epidemic affecting the human population. It follows the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012. This novel SARS-CoV-2 employs the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, like SARS-CoV, and spreads principally in the respiratory tract. The viral spike (S) protein of coronaviruses facilities the attachment to the cellular receptor, entrance, and membrane fusion. The S protein is a glycoprotein and is critical to elicit an immune response. Glycosylation is a biologically significant post-translational modification in virus surface proteins. These glycans play important roles in the viral life cycle, structure, immune evasion, and cell infection. However, it is necessary to search for new information about viral behavior and immunological host's response after SARS-CoV-2 infection. The present review discusses the implications of the CoV-2 S protein glycosylation in the SARS-CoV-2/ACE2 interaction and the immunological response. Elucidation of the glycan repertoire on the spike protein can propel research for the development of an appropriate vaccine.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology , Glycosylation , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
Biochem J ; 478(19): 3671-3684, 2021 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1557441

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, the clinical syndrome caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has rapidly spread globally causing hundreds of millions of infections and over two million deaths. The potential animal reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2 are currently unknown, however sequence analysis has provided plausible potential candidate species. SARS-CoV-2 binds to the angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to enable its entry into host cells and establish infection. We analyzed the binding surface of ACE2 from several important animal species to begin to understand the parameters for the ACE2 recognition by the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD). We employed Shannon entropy analysis to determine the variability of ACE2 across its sequence and particularly in its RBD interacting region, and assessed differences between various species' ACE2 and human ACE2. Recombinant ACE2 from human, hamster, horseshoe bat, cat, ferret, and cow were evaluated for RBD binding. A gradient of binding affinities were seen where human and hamster ACE2 were similarly in the low nanomolar range, followed by cat and cow. Surprisingly, horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus sinicus) and ferret (Mustela putorius) ACE2s had poor binding activity compared with the other species' ACE2. The residue differences and binding properties between the species' variants provide a framework for understanding ACE2-RBD binding and virus tropism.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cats , Dogs , Humans , Mice , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Species Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Tropism
6.
Biomolecules ; 11(12)2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551563

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease caused by a newly emerged coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that has rapidly progressed into a pandemic. This unprecedent emergency has stressed the significance of developing effective therapeutics to fight the current and future outbreaks. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 surface Spike protein is the main target for vaccines and represents a helpful "tool" to produce neutralizing antibodies or diagnostic kits. In this work, we provide a detailed characterization of the native RBD produced in three major model systems: Escherichia coli, insect and HEK-293 cells. Circular dichroism, gel filtration chromatography and thermal denaturation experiments indicated that recombinant SARS-CoV-2 RBD proteins are stable and correctly folded. In addition, their functionality and receptor-binding ability were further evaluated through ELISA, flow cytometry assays and bio-layer interferometry.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Cell Line , Escherichia coli/genetics , Gene Expression , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Insecta/cytology , Protein Binding , Protein Denaturation , Protein Domains , Protein Folding , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
7.
Cell Rep ; 37(12): 110156, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549680

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) Beta (B.1.351) and Gamma (P.1) variants of concern (VoCs) include a key mutation (N501Y) found in the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant that enhances affinity of the spike protein for its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Additional mutations are found in these variants at residues 417 and 484 that appear to promote antibody evasion. In contrast, the Epsilon variants (B.1.427/429) lack the N501Y mutation yet exhibit antibody evasion. We have engineered spike proteins to express these receptor binding domain (RBD) VoC mutations either in isolation or in different combinations and analyze the effects using biochemical assays and cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structural analyses. Overall, our findings suggest that the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variant spikes can be rationalized as the result of mutations that confer increased ACE2 affinity, increased antibody evasion, or both, providing a framework to dissect the molecular factors that drive VoC evolution.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
8.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 23(27): 14873-14888, 2021 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541260

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, first detected in December 2019, is still emerging through virus mutations. Although almost under control in some countries due to effective vaccines that are mitigating the worldwide pandemic, the urgency to develop additional vaccines and therapeutic treatments is imperative. In this work, the natural polyphenols corilagin and 1,3,6-tri-O-galloy-ß-d-glucose (TGG) are investigated to determine the structural basis of inhibitor interactions as potential candidates to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 viral entry into target cells. First, the therapeutic potential of the ligands are assessed on the ACE2/wild-type RBD. We first use molecular docking followed by molecular dynamics, to take into account the conformational flexibility that plays a significant role in ligand binding and that cannot be captured using only docking, and then analyze more precisely the affinity of these ligands using MMPBSA binding free energy. We show that both ligands bind to the ACE2/wild-type RBD interface with good affinities which might prevent the ACE2/RBD association. Second, we confirm the potency of these ligands to block the ACE2/RBD association using a combination of surface plasmon resonance and biochemical inhibition assays. These experiments confirm that TGG and, to a lesser extent, corilagin, inhibit the binding of RBD to ACE2. Both experiments and simulations show that the ligands interact preferentially with RBD, while weak binding is observed with ACE2, hence, avoiding potential physiological side-effects induced by the inhibition of ACE2. In addition to the wild-type RBD, we also study numerically three RBD mutations (E484K, N501Y and E484K/N501Y) found in the main SARS-CoV-2 variants of concerns. We find that corilagin could be as effective for RBD/E484K but less effective for the RBD/N501Y and RBD/E484K-N501Y mutants, while TGG strongly binds at relevant locations to all three mutants, demonstrating the significant interest of these molecules as potential inhibitors for variants of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Gallic Acid/analogs & derivatives , Glucose/analogs & derivatives , Glucosides/chemistry , Hydrolyzable Tannins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , Gallic Acid/chemistry , Glucose/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
9.
Cell Rep ; 37(4): 109882, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525720

ABSTRACT

Remdesivir (RDV), a nucleotide analog with broad-spectrum features, has exhibited effectiveness in COVID-19 treatment. However, the precise working mechanism of RDV when targeting the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) has not been fully elucidated. Here, we solve a 3.0-Å structure of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RdRP elongation complex (EC) and assess RDV intervention in polymerase elongation phase. Although RDV could induce an "i+3" delayed termination in meta-stable complexes, only pausing and subsequent elongation are observed in the EC. A comparative investigation using an enterovirus RdRP further confirms similar delayed intervention and demonstrates that steric hindrance of the RDV-characteristic 1'-cyano at the -4 position is responsible for the "i+3" intervention, although two representative Flaviviridae RdRPs do not exhibit similar behavior. A comparison of representative viral RdRP catalytic complex structures indicates that the product RNA backbone encounters highly conserved structural elements, highlighting the broad-spectrum intervention potential of 1'-modified nucleotide analogs in anti-RNA virus drug development.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Proteins/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/drug effects , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication/drug effects
10.
J Mol Model ; 27(11): 323, 2021 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525539

ABSTRACT

The world has face the COVID-19 pandemic which has already caused millions of death. Due to the urgency in fighting the virus, we study five residues of free amino acids present in the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S). We investigated the spontaneous interaction between amino acids and silver ions (Ag+), considering these ions as a virucide chemical agent for SARS-CoV-2. The amino acid-Ag+ systems were investigated in a gaseous medium and a simulated water environment was described with a continuum model (PCM) the calculations were performed within the framework of density functional theory (DFT). Calculations related to the occupied orbitals of higher energy showed that Ag+ has a tendency to interact with the nitrile groups (-NH). The negative values of the Gibbs free energies show that the interaction process between amino acids-Ag+ in both media occurs spontaneously. There is a decrease in Gibbs free energy from the amino acid-Ag+ interactions immersed in a water solvation simulator.


Subject(s)
Amino Acids/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Density Functional Theory , Silver/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Amino Acids/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Binding Sites , Cations, Monovalent , Gene Expression , Humans , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Silver/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Static Electricity , Thermodynamics
11.
ChemistryOpen ; 10(11): 1133-1141, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520270

ABSTRACT

We present in this work a first X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy study of the interactions of Zn with human BST2/tetherin and SARS-CoV-2 orf7a proteins as well as with some of their complexes. The analysis of the XANES region of the measured spectra shows that Zn binds to BST2, as well as to orf7a, thus resulting in the formation of BST2-orf7a complexes. This structural information confirms the the conjecture, recently put forward by some of the present Authors, according to which the accessory orf7a (and possibly also orf8) viral protein are capable of interfering with the BST2 antiviral activity. Our explanation for this behavior is that, when BST2 gets in contact with Zn bound to the orf7a Cys15 ligand, it has the ability of displacing the metal owing to the creation of a new disulfide bridge across the two proteins. The formation of this BST2-orf7a complex destabilizes BST2 dimerization, thus impairing the antiviral activity of the latter.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Zinc/metabolism , Cysteine/chemistry , GPI-Linked Proteins/metabolism , Histidine/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy
12.
Bioelectrochemistry ; 143: 107982, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525699

ABSTRACT

The large-scale diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is important for traceability and treatment during pandemic outbreaks. We developed a fast (2-3 min), easy-to-use, low-cost, and quantitative electrochemical biosensor based on carbon nanotube field-effect transistor (CNT-FET) that allows digital detection of the SARS-CoV-2 S1 in fortifited saliva samples for quick and accurate detection of SARS-CoV-2 S1 antigens. The biosensor was developed on a Si/SiO2 surface by CNT printing with the immobilization of a anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1. SARS-CoV-2 S1 antibody was immobilized on the CNT surface between the S-D channel area using a linker 1-pyrenebutanoic acid succinimidyl ester (PBASE) through non-covalent interaction. A commercial SARS-CoV-2 S1 antigen was used to characterize the electrical output of the CNT-FET biosensor. The SARS-CoV-2 S1 antigen in the 10 mM AA buffer pH 6.0 was effectively detected by the CNT-FET biosensor at concentrations from 0.1 fg/mL to 5.0 pg/mL. The limit of detection (LOD) of the developed CNT-FET biosensor was 4.12 fg/mL. The selectivity test was performed by using target SARS-CoV-2 S1 and non-target SARS-CoV-1 S1 and MERS-CoV S1 antigens in the 10 mM AA buffer pH 6.0. The biosensor showed high selectivity (no response to SARS-CoV-1 S1 or MERS-CoV S1 antigen) with SARS-CoV-2 S1 antigen detection in the 10 mM AA buffer pH 6.0. The biosensor is highly sensitive, saves time, and could be a helpful platform for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 S1 antigen from the patients saliva.


Subject(s)
Electrochemical Techniques/instrumentation , Nanotubes, Carbon/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Antigens, Viral/analysis , Biosensing Techniques , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
13.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 22202, 2021 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1514421

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for COVID-19 pandemic, causing large numbers of cases and deaths. It initiates entry into human cells by binding to the peptidase domain of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor via its receptor binding domain of S1 subunit of spike protein (SARS-CoV-2-RBD). Employing neutralizing antibodies to prevent binding between SARS-CoV-2-RBD and ACE2 is an effective COVID-19 therapeutic solution. Previous studies found that CC12.3 is a highly potent neutralizing antibody that was isolated from a SARS-CoV-2 infected patient, and its Fab fragment (Fab CC12.3) bound to SARS-CoV-2-RBD with comparable binding affinity to ACE2. To enhance its binding affinity, we employed computational protein design to redesign all CDRs of Fab CC12.3 and molecular dynamics (MD) to validate their predicted binding affinities by the MM-GBSA method. MD results show that the predicted binding affinities of the three best designed Fabs CC12.3 (CC12.3-D02, CC12.3-D05, and CC12.3-D08) are better than those of Fab CC12.3 and ACE2. Additionally, our results suggest that enhanced binding affinities of CC12.3-D02, CC12.3-D05, and CC12.3-D08 are caused by increased SARS-CoV-2-RBD binding interactions of CDRs L1 and L3. This study redesigned neutralizing antibodies with better predicted binding affinities to SARS-CoV-2-RBD than Fab CC12.3 and ACE2. They are promising candidates as neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Binding Sites , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 22042, 2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510622

ABSTRACT

The mutation of SARS-CoV-2 influences viral function as residue replacements affect both physiochemical properties and folding conformations. Although a large amount of data on SARS-CoV-2 is available, the investigation of how viral functions change in response to mutations is hampered by a lack of effective structural analysis. Here, we exploit the advances of protein structure fingerprint technology to study the folding conformational changes induced by mutations. With integration of both protein sequences and folding conformations, the structures are aligned for SARS-CoV to SARS-CoV-2, including Alpha variant (lineage B.1.1.7) and Delta variant (lineage B.1.617.2). The results showed that the virus evolution with change in mutational positions and physicochemical properties increased the affinity between spike protein and ACE2, which plays a critical role in coronavirus entry into human cells. Additionally, these structural variations impact vaccine effectiveness and drug function over the course of SARS-CoV-2 evolution. The analysis of structural variations revealed how the coronavirus has gradually evolved in both structure and function and how the SARS-CoV-2 variants have contributed to more severe acute disease worldwide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Humans , Models, Molecular , Protein Conformation , Protein Folding , Protein Interaction Maps , Protein Multimerization , SARS Virus/chemistry , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sequence Alignment , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
15.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6405, 2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505001

ABSTRACT

The origin of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern remains unclear. Here, we test whether intra-host virus evolution during persistent infections could be a contributing factor by characterizing the long-term SARS-CoV-2 infection dynamics in an immunosuppressed kidney transplant recipient. Applying RT-qPCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS) of sequential respiratory specimens, we identify several mutations in the viral genome late in infection. We demonstrate that a late viral isolate exhibiting genome mutations similar to those found in variants of concern first identified in UK, South Africa, and Brazil, can escape neutralization by COVID-19 antisera. Moreover, infection of susceptible mice with this patient's escape variant elicits protective immunity against re-infection with either the parental virus and the escape variant, as well as high neutralization titers against the alpha and beta SARS-CoV-2 variants, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, demonstrating a considerable immune control against such variants of concern. Upon lowering immunosuppressive treatment, the patient generated spike-specific neutralizing antibodies and resolved the infection. Our results suggest that immunocompromised patients could be a source for the emergence of potentially harmful SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunocompromised Host , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
16.
ACS Synth Biol ; 10(11): 3209-3235, 2021 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504658

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 triggered a worldwide pandemic disease, COVID-19, for which an effective treatment has not yet been settled. Among the most promising targets to fight this disease is SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro), which has been extensively studied in the last few months. There is an urgency for developing effective computational protocols that can help us tackle these key viral proteins. Hence, we have put together a robust and thorough pipeline of in silico protein-ligand characterization methods to address one of the biggest biological problems currently plaguing our world. These methodologies were used to characterize the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro with an α-ketoamide inhibitor and include details on how to upload, visualize, and manage the three-dimensional structure of the complex and acquire high-quality figures for scientific publications using PyMOL (Protocol 1); perform homology modeling with MODELLER (Protocol 2); perform protein-ligand docking calculations using HADDOCK (Protocol 3); run a virtual screening protocol of a small compound database of SARS-CoV-2 candidate inhibitors with AutoDock 4 and AutoDock Vina (Protocol 4); and, finally, sample the conformational space at the atomic level between SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and the α-ketoamide inhibitor with Molecular Dynamics simulations using GROMACS (Protocol 5). Guidelines for careful data analysis and interpretation are also provided for each Protocol.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Databases, Protein , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Ligands
17.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 378, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500450

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic has heavily burdened the global public health system and may keep simmering for years. The frequent emergence of immune escape variants have spurred the search for prophylactic vaccines and therapeutic antibodies that confer broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Here we show that the bivalency of an affinity maturated fully human single-domain antibody (n3113.1-Fc) exhibits exquisite neutralizing potency against SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, and confers effective prophylactic and therapeutic protection against authentic SARS-CoV-2 in the host cell receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) humanized mice. The crystal structure of n3113 in complex with the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, combined with the cryo-EM structures of n3113 and spike ecto-domain, reveals that n3113 binds to the side surface of up-state RBD with no competition with ACE2. The binding of n3113 to this novel epitope stabilizes spike in up-state conformations but inhibits SARS-CoV-2 S mediated membrane fusion, expanding our recognition of neutralization by antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Binding assay and pseudovirus neutralization assay show no evasion of recently prevalent SARS-CoV-2 lineages, including Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), and Delta (B.1.617.2) for n3113.1-Fc with Y58L mutation, demonstrating the potential of n3113.1-Fc (Y58L) as a promising candidate for clinical development to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Single-Chain Antibodies/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/therapeutic use
18.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 60(48): 25428-25435, 2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1490696

ABSTRACT

The main protease (3CLp) of the SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for the COVID-19 pandemic, is one of the main targets for drug development. To be active, 3CLp relies on a complex interplay between dimerization, active site flexibility, and allosteric regulation. The deciphering of these mechanisms is a crucial step to enable the search for inhibitors. In this context, using NMR spectroscopy, we studied the conformation of dimeric 3CLp from the SARS-CoV-2 and monitored ligand binding, based on NMR signal assignments. We performed a fragment-based screening that led to the identification of 38 fragment hits. Their binding sites showed three hotspots on 3CLp, two in the substrate binding pocket and one at the dimer interface. F01 is a non-covalent inhibitor of the 3CLp and has antiviral activity in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. This study sheds light on the complex structure-function relationships of 3CLp and constitutes a strong basis to assist in developing potent 3CLp inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular , Protein Conformation , Protein Multimerization , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Vero Cells
19.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488616

ABSTRACT

After almost two years from its first evidence, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to afflict people worldwide, highlighting the need for multiple antiviral strategies. SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro/3CLpro) is a recognized promising target for the development of effective drugs. Because single target inhibition might not be sufficient to block SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication, multi enzymatic-based therapies may provide a better strategy. Here we present a structural and biochemical characterization of the binding mode of MG-132 to both the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, and to the human Cathepsin-L, suggesting thus an interesting scaffold for the development of double-inhibitors. X-ray diffraction data show that MG-132 well fits into the Mpro active site, forming a covalent bond with Cys145 independently from reducing agents and crystallization conditions. Docking of MG-132 into Cathepsin-L well-matches with a covalent binding to the catalytic cysteine. Accordingly, MG-132 inhibits Cathepsin-L with nanomolar potency and reversibly inhibits Mpro with micromolar potency, but with a prolonged residency time. We compared the apo and MG-132-inhibited structures of Mpro solved in different space groups and we identified a new apo structure that features several similarities with the inhibited ones, offering interesting perspectives for future drug design and in silico efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Cathepsin L/drug effects , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Leupeptins/chemistry , Leupeptins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Catalytic Domain/drug effects , Cathepsin L/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Drug Design , Drug Discovery , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptidomimetics , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Virus Replication/drug effects , X-Ray Diffraction
20.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488615

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has received global attention due to the serious threat it poses to public health. Since the outbreak in December 2019, millions of people have been affected and its rapid global spread has led to an upsurge in the search for treatment. To discover hit compounds that can be used alone or in combination with repositioned drugs, we first analyzed the pharmacokinetic and toxicological properties of natural products from Brazil's semiarid region. After, we analyzed the site prediction and druggability of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro), followed by docking and molecular dynamics simulation. The best SARS-CoV-2 Mpro complexes revealed that other sites were accessed, confirming that our approach could be employed as a suitable starting protocol for ligand prioritization, reinforcing the importance of catalytic cysteine-histidine residues and providing new structural data that could increase the antiviral development mainly against SARS-CoV-2. Here, we selected 10 molecules that could be in vitro assayed in response to COVID-19. Two compounds (b01 and b02) suggest a better potential for interaction with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and could be further studied.


Subject(s)
Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Drug Design , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Drug Discovery/methods , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Ligands , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Conformation , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/drug effects
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