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1.
J Nucl Med ; 62(11): 1631-1637, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496930

ABSTRACT

In this study, we developed angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-specific, peptide-derived 68Ga-labeled radiotracers, motivated by the hypotheses that ACE2 is an important determinant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) susceptibility and that modulation of ACE2 in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) drives severe organ injury. Methods: A series of NOTA-conjugated peptides derived from the known ACE2 inhibitor DX600 were synthesized, with variable linker identity. Since DX600 bears 2 cystine residues, both linear and cyclic peptides were studied. An ACE2 inhibition assay was used to identify lead compounds, which were labeled with 68Ga to generate peptide radiotracers (68Ga-NOTA-PEP). The aminocaproate-derived radiotracer 68Ga-NOTA-PEP4 was subsequently studied in a humanized ACE2 (hACE2) transgenic model. Results: Cyclic DX-600-derived peptides had markedly lower half-maximal inhibitory concentrations than their linear counterparts. The 3 cyclic peptides with triglycine, aminocaproate, and polyethylene glycol linkers had calculated half-maximal inhibitory concentrations similar to or lower than the parent DX600 molecule. Peptides were readily labeled with 68Ga, and the biodistribution of 68Ga-NOTA-PEP4 was determined in an hACE2 transgenic murine cohort. Pharmacologic concentrations of coadministered NOTA-PEP (blocking) showed a significant reduction of 68Ga-NOTA-PEP4 signals in the heart, liver, lungs, and small intestine. Ex vivo hACE2 activity in these organs was confirmed as a correlate to in vivo results. Conclusion: NOTA-conjugated cyclic peptides derived from the known ACE2 inhibitor DX600 retain their activity when N-conjugated for 68Ga chelation. In vivo studies in a transgenic hACE2 murine model using the lead tracer, 68Ga-NOTA-PEP4, showed specific binding in the heart, liver, lungs and intestine-organs known to be affected in SARS-CoV-2 infection. These results suggest that 68Ga-NOTA-PEP4 could be used to detect organ-specific suppression of ACE2 in SARS-CoV-2-infected murine models and COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Gallium Radioisotopes/chemistry , Peptides, Cyclic , Animals , Male , Mice , Positron-Emission Tomography , Tissue Distribution
2.
J Virol ; 95(16): e0061721, 2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486509

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic of COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) is the critical determinant of viral tropism and infectivity. To investigate whether naturally occurring RBD mutations during the early transmission phase have altered the receptor binding affinity and infectivity, we first analyzed in silico the binding dynamics between SARS-CoV-2 RBD mutants and the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Among 32,123 genomes of SARS-CoV-2 isolates (December 2019 through March 2020), 302 nonsynonymous RBD mutants were identified and clustered into 96 mutant types. The six dominant mutations were analyzed applying molecular dynamics simulations (MDS). The mutant type V367F continuously circulating worldwide displayed higher binding affinity to human ACE2 due to the enhanced structural stabilization of the RBD beta-sheet scaffold. The MDS also indicated that it would be difficult for bat SARS-like CoV to infect humans. However, the pangolin CoV is potentially infectious to humans. The increased infectivity of V367 mutants was further validated by performing receptor-ligand binding enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), surface plasmon resonance, and pseudotyped virus assays. Phylogenetic analysis of the genomes of V367F mutants showed that during the early transmission phase, most V367F mutants clustered more closely with the SARS-CoV-2 prototype strain than the dual-mutation variants (V367F+D614G), which may derivate from recombination. The analysis of critical RBD mutations provides further insights into the evolutionary trajectory of early SARS-CoV-2 variants of zoonotic origin under negative selection pressure and supports the continuing surveillance of spike mutations to aid in the development of new COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. IMPORTANCE A novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused the pandemic of COVID-19. The origin of SARS-CoV-2 was associated with zoonotic infections. The spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) is identified as the critical determinant of viral tropism and infectivity. Thus, whether mutations in the RBD of the circulating SARS-CoV-2 isolates have altered the receptor binding affinity and made them more infectious has been the research hot spot. Given that SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus, the significance of our research is in identifying and validating the RBD mutant types emerging during the early transmission phase and increasing human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding affinity and infectivity. Our study provides insights into the evolutionary trajectory of early SARS-CoV-2 variants of zoonotic origin. The continuing surveillance of RBD mutations with increased human ACE2 affinity in human or other animals is critical to the development of new COVID-19 drugs and vaccines against these variants during the sustained COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Gene Expression , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Kinetics , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Phenylalanine/chemistry , Phenylalanine/metabolism , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Thermodynamics , Valine/chemistry , Valine/metabolism , Virulence , Virus Attachment
3.
Res Sq ; 2021 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431222

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus-associated acute respiratory disease, called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). More than 90 million people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and more than 2 million people have died of complications due to COVID-19 worldwide. COVID-19, in its severe form, presents with an uncontrolled, hyperactive immune response and severe immunological injury or organ damage that accounts for morbidity and mortality. Even in the absence of complications, COVID-19 can last for several months with lingering effects of an overactive immune system. Dysregulated myeloid and lymphocyte compartments have been implicated in lung immunopathology. Currently, there are limited clinically-tested treatments of COVID-19 with disparities in the apparent efficacy in patients. Accurate model systems are essential to rapidly evaluate promising discoveries but most currently available in mice, ferrets and hamsters do not recapitulate sustained immunopathology described in COVID19 patients. Here, we present a comprehensively humanized mouse COVID-19 model that faithfully recapitulates the innate and adaptive human immune responses during infection with SARS-CoV-2 by adapting recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV)-driven gene therapy to deliver human ACE2 to the lungs 1 of MISTRG6 mice. Our unique model allows for the first time the study of chronic disease due to infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the context of patient-derived antibodies to characterize in real time the potential culprits of the observed human driving immunopathology; most importantly this model provides a live view into the aberrant macrophage response that is thought to be the effector of disease morbidity and ARDS in patients. Application of therapeutics such as patient-derived antibodies and steroids to our model allowed separation of the two aspects of the immune response, infectious viral clearance and immunopathology. Inflammatory cells seeded early in infection drove immune-patholgy later, but this very same early anti-viral response was also crucial to contain infection.

5.
J Phys Chem B ; 124(44): 9785-9792, 2020 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387110

ABSTRACT

Over 50 peptides, which were known to inhibit SARS-CoV-1, were computationally screened against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Based on the binding affinity and interaction, 15 peptides were selected, which showed higher affinity compared to the α-helix of the human ACE2 receptor. Molecular dynamics simulation demonstrated that two peptides, S2P25 and S2P26, were the most promising candidates, which could potentially block the entry of SARS-CoV-2. Tyr489 and Tyr505 residues present in the "finger-like" projections of the RBD were found to be critical for peptide interaction. Hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions played important roles in prompting peptide-protein binding and interaction. Structure-activity relationship indicated that peptides containing aromatic (Tyr and Phe), nonpolar (Pro, Gly, Leu, and Ala), and polar (Asn, Gln, and Cys) residues were the most significant contributors. These findings can facilitate the rational design of selective peptide inhibitors targeting the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Peptides/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , Hydrogen Bonding , Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Molecular Structure , Peptides/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Structure-Activity Relationship
6.
Vascul Pharmacol ; 130: 106680, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386723

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and its homologue, ACE2, have been mostly associated with hypertensive disorder. However, recent pandemia of SARS-CoV-2 has put these proteins at the center of attention, as this virus has been shown to exploit ACE2 protein to enter cells. Clear difference in the response of affected patients to this virus has urged researchers to find the molecular basis and pathophysiology of the cell response to this virus. Different levels of expression and function of ACE proteins, underlying disorders, consumption of certain medications and the existence of certain genomic variants within ACE genes are possible explanations for the observed difference in the response of individuals to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the current review, we discuss the putative mechanisms for this observation.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/enzymology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/biosynthesis , Pneumonia, Viral/enzymology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Humans , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/blood , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology
7.
Cell Host Microbe ; 28(6): 867-879.e5, 2020 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385264

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 spike employs mobile receptor-binding domains (RBDs) to engage the human ACE2 receptor and to facilitate virus entry, which can occur through low-pH-endosomal pathways. To understand how ACE2 binding and low pH affect spike conformation, we determined cryo-electron microscopy structures-at serological and endosomal pH-delineating spike recognition of up to three ACE2 molecules. RBDs freely adopted "up" conformations required for ACE2 interaction, primarily through RBD movement combined with smaller alterations in neighboring domains. In the absence of ACE2, single-RBD-up conformations dominated at pH 5.5, resolving into a solitary all-down conformation at lower pH. Notably, a pH-dependent refolding region (residues 824-858) at the spike-interdomain interface displayed dramatic structural rearrangements and mediated RBD positioning through coordinated movements of the entire trimer apex. These structures provide a foundation for understanding prefusion-spike mechanics governing endosomal entry; we suggest that the low pH all-down conformation potentially facilitates immune evasion from RBD-up binding antibody.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/ultrastructure , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/ultrastructure , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Endosomes/ultrastructure , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/ultrastructure , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
8.
Clin Res Cardiol ; 2020 Dec 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384408

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) 2 is known to be a functional receptor for SARS-CoV-2 in the current pandemic. Soluble ACE2 (sACE2) concentrations are elevated in patients with various cardiovascular disorders including heart failure. METHODS: In a total of 182 consecutive adult patients with complex congenital heart disease (CHD) and 63 healthy controls, sACE2 concentrations were measured in serum using the Human ACE2® assay by Cloud-Clone Corporation and associated with clinical, laboratory and echocardiographic parameters. RESULTS: Median sACE2 levels were increased in patients with complex CHD as compared to healthy controls (761.9 pg/ml vs 365.2 pg/ml, p < 0.001). Moreover, sACE2 concentrations were significantly elevated in patients with a higher NYHA class ≥ III (1856.2 pg/ml vs 714.5 pg/ml in patients with NYHA class I/II, p < 0.001). Using linear regression analysis, higher sACE2 levels were associated with a higher NYHA class ≥ III, more severe CHD, a morphological left systemic ventricle, higher creatinine and the use of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRA) in the univariable model. The use of ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) was associated with lower sACE2 levels. In the multivariable model, higher sACE2 levels were independently associated with a higher NYHA class ≥ III (p = 0.002) and lower sACE2 levels with the use of ACE inhibitors or ARB (p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: Soluble ACE2 concentrations were significantly increased in all types of complex CHD with highest levels found in patients with NYHA class ≥ III. Moreover, a higher NYHA class ≥ III was the most significant determinant that was independently associated with elevated sACE2 concentrations.

9.
Sci Bull (Beijing) ; 66(9): 925-936, 2021 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386590

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 infection is spreading rapidly worldwide. Efficacious antiviral therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 is urgently needed. Here, we discovered that protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) and verteporfin, two Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs, completely inhibited the cytopathic effect produced by SARS-CoV-2 infection at 1.25 µmol/L and 0.31 µmol/L, respectively, and their EC50 values of reduction of viral RNA were at nanomolar concentrations. The selectivity indices of PpIX and verteporfin were 952.74 and 368.93, respectively, suggesting a broad margin of safety. Importantly, PpIX and verteporfin prevented SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice adenovirally transduced with human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The compounds, sharing a porphyrin ring structure, were shown to bind viral receptor ACE2 and interfere with the interaction between ACE2 and the receptor-binding domain of viral S protein. Our study suggests that PpIX and verteporfin are potent antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2 infection and sheds new light on developing novel chemoprophylaxis and chemotherapy against SARS-CoV-2.

10.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 672629, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389198

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection across the world has led to immense turbulence in the treatment modality, thus demanding a swift drug discovery process. Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 binds to ACE2 receptor of human to initiate host invasion. Plethora of studies demonstrate the inhibition of Spike-ACE2 interactions to impair infection. The ancient Indian traditional medicine has been of great interest of Virologists worldwide to decipher potential antivirals. Hence, in this study, phytochemicals (1,952 compounds) from eight potential medicinal plants used in Indian traditional medicine were meticulously collated, based on their usage in respiratory disorders, along with immunomodulatory and anti-viral potential from contemporary literature. Further, these compounds were virtually screened against Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of Spike protein. The potential compounds from each plant were prioritized based on the binding affinity, key hotspot interactions at ACE2 binding region and glycosylation sites. Finally, the potential hits in complex with spike protein were subjected to Molecular Dynamics simulation (450 ns), to infer the stability of complex formation. Among the compounds screened, Tellimagrandin-II (binding energy of -8.2 kcal/mol and binding free energy of -32.08 kcal/mol) from Syzygium aromaticum L. and O-Demethyl-demethoxy-curcumin (binding energy of -8.0 kcal/mol and binding free energy of -12.48 kcal/mol) from Curcuma longa L. were found to be highly potential due to their higher binding affinity and significant binding free energy (MM-PBSA), along with favorable ADMET properties and stable intermolecular interactions with hotspots (including the ASN343 glycosylation site). The proposed hits are highly promising, as these are resultant of stringent in silico checkpoints, traditionally used, and are documented through contemporary literature. Hence, could serve as promising leads for subsequent experimental validations.

11.
Sci Adv ; 7(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388433

ABSTRACT

The recent outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 pose a global health emergency. The SARS-CoV-2 trimeric spike (S) glycoprotein interacts with the human ACE2 receptor to mediate viral entry into host cells. We report the cryo-EM structures of a tightly closed SARS-CoV-2 S trimer with packed fusion peptide and an ACE2-bound S trimer at 2.7- and 3.8-Å resolution, respectively. Accompanying ACE2 binding to the up receptor-binding domain (RBD), the associated ACE2-RBD exhibits continuous swing motions. Notably, the SARS-CoV-2 S trimer appears much more sensitive to the ACE2 receptor than the SARS-CoV S trimer regarding receptor-triggered transformation from the closed prefusion state to the fusion-prone open state, potentially contributing to the superior infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. We defined the RBD T470-T478 loop and Y505 as viral determinants for specific recognition of SARS-CoV-2 RBD by ACE2. Our findings depict the mechanism of ACE2-induced S trimer conformational transitions from the ground prefusion state toward the postfusion state, facilitating development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Animals , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Image Processing, Computer-Assisted , Ligands , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mutation , Peptides/chemistry , Polysaccharides , Principal Component Analysis , Protein Binding , Protein Domains
12.
Bioinformatics ; 36(21): 5129-5132, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343669

ABSTRACT

MOTIVATION: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused more than 14 million cases and more than half million deaths. Given the absence of implemented therapies, new analysis, diagnosis and therapeutics are of great importance. RESULTS: Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes from the current outbreak reveals the presence of short persistent DNA/RNA sequences that are absent from the human genome and transcriptome (PmRAWs). For the PmRAWs with length 12, only four exist at the same location in all SARS-CoV-2. At the gene level, we found one PmRAW of size 13 at the Spike glycoprotein coding sequence. This protein is fundamental for binding in human ACE2 and further use as an entry receptor to invade target cells. Applying protein structural prediction, we localized this PmRAW at the surface of the Spike protein, providing a potential targeted vector for diagnostics and therapeutics. In addition, we show a new pattern of relative absent words (RAWs), characterized by the progressive increase of GC content (Guanine and Cytosine) according to the decrease of RAWs length, contrarily to the virus and host genome distributions. New analysis shows the same property during the Ebola virus outbreak. At a computational level, we improved the alignment-free method to identify pathogen-specific signatures in balance with GC measures and removed previous size limitations. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: https://github.com/cobilab/eagle. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 963-975, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343638

ABSTRACT

The Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become an international public health emergency, which poses the most serious threat to the human health around the world. Accumulating evidences have shown that the new coronavirus could not only infect human beings, but also can infect other species which might result in the cross-species infections. In this research, 1056 ACE2 protein sequences are collected from the NCBI database, and 173 species with >60% sequence identity compared with that of human beings are selected for further analysis. We find 14 polar residues forming the binding interface of ACE2/2019-nCoV-Spike complex play an important role in maintaining protein-protein stability. Among them, 8 polar residues at the same positions with that of human ACE2 are highly conserved, which ensure its basic binding affinity with the novel coronavirus. 5 of other 6 unconserved polar residues (positions at human ACE2: Q24, D30, K31, H34 and E35) are proved to have an effect on the binding patterns among species. We select 21 species keeping close contacts with human beings, construct their ACE2 three-dimensional structures by Homology Modeling method and calculate the binding free energies of their ACE2/2019-nCoV-Spike complexes. We find the ACE2 from all the 21 species possess the capabilities to bind with the novel coronavirus. Compared with the human beings, 8 species (cow, deer, cynomys, chimpanzee, monkey, sheep, dolphin and whale) present almost the same binding abilities, and 3 species (bat, pig and dog) show significant improvements in binding affinities. We hope this research could provide significant help for the future epidemic detection, drug and vaccine development and even the global eco-system protections.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Humans , Protein Binding , Species Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
14.
Proteins ; 89(9): 1158-1166, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296890

ABSTRACT

The 2019-novel coronavirus also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a common threat to animals and humans, and is responsible for the human SARS pandemic in 2019 to 2021. The infection of SARS-CoV-2 in humans involves a viral surface glycoprotein named as spike proteins, which bind to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) proteins. Particularly, the receptor binding domains (RBDs) mediate the interaction and contain several disordered regions, which help in the binding. Investigations on the influence of disordered residues/regions in stability and binding of spike protein with ACE2 help to understand the disease pathogenesis, which has not yet been studied. In this study, we have used molecular-dynamics simulations to characterize the structural changes in disordered regions of the spike protein that result from ACE2 binding. We observed that the disordered regions undergo disorder-to-order transition (DOT) upon binding with ACE2, and the DOT residues are located at functionally important regions of RBD. Although the RBD is having rigid structure, DOT residues make conformational rearrangements for the spike protein to attach with ACE2. The binding is strengthened via hydrophilic and aromatic amino acids mainly present in the DOTs. The positively correlated motions of the DOT residues with its nearby residues also explain the binding profile of RBD with ACE2, and the residues are observed to be contributing more favorable binding energies for the spike-ACE2 complex formation. This study emphasizes that intrinsically disordered residues in the RBD of spike protein may provide insights into its etiology and be useful for drug and vaccine discovery.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/chemistry , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pliability , Protein Binding , Static Electricity
15.
Cell ; 184(13): 3438-3451.e10, 2021 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275185

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been spreading worldwide, causing a global pandemic. Bat-origin RaTG13 is currently the most phylogenetically related virus. Here we obtained the complex structure of the RaTG13 receptor binding domain (RBD) with human ACE2 (hACE2) and evaluated binding of RaTG13 RBD to 24 additional ACE2 orthologs. By substituting residues in the RaTG13 RBD with their counterparts in the SARS-CoV-2 RBD, we found that residue 501, the major position found in variants of concern (VOCs) 501Y.V1/V2/V3, plays a key role in determining the potential host range of RaTG13. We also found that SARS-CoV-2 could induce strong cross-reactive antibodies to RaTG13 and identified a SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody (mAb), CB6, that could cross-neutralize RaTG13 pseudovirus. These results elucidate the receptor binding and host adaption mechanisms of RaTG13 and emphasize the importance of continuous surveillance of coronaviruses (CoVs) carried by animal reservoirs to prevent another spillover of CoVs.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites/physiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Chiroptera/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Chiroptera/immunology , Chiroptera/metabolism , Host Specificity/immunology , Humans , Phylogeny , Protein Binding/physiology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sequence Alignment
16.
Environ Anal Health Toxicol ; 36(2): e2021010-0, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1271038

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global pandemic with rapid rate of transmission and fatalities worldwide. Scientists have been investigating a host of drugs that may be rechanneled to fight this malaise. Thus, in this current computational study we carried out molecular docking experiments to assess the bridging potentials of some commercial drugs such as chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, ritonavir, nafamostat, camostat, famotidine, umifenovir, nitazoxanide, ivermectin, and fluvoxamine at the interface between human ACE2 and the coronavirus spike glycoprotein complex. This is aimed at ascertaining the ability of these drugs to bridge and prevent the complexing of these two proteins. The crystal structure of human ACE2 and the coronavirus spike glycoprotein complex was retrieved from protein database, while the selected drugs were retrieved from PubChem data base. The proteins and drugs were prepared for docking using Cresset Flare software. The docking was completed via AutoDock Vina module in Python Prescription software. The best hit drugs with each receptor were selected and their molecular interactions were analyzed using BIOVIA's Discovery Studio 2020. The best hit compounds on the human ACE2 were the lopinavir (-10.1 kcal/mol), ritonavir (-8.9 kcal/mol), and nafamostat (-8.7 kcal/mol). Ivermectin, nafamostat, and camostat with binding energy values -9.0 kcal/mol, -7.8 kcal/mol, and -7.4 kcal/mol respectively were the hit drugs on the coronavirus spike glycoprotein. Nafamostat showed a dual bridging potential against ACE2 and spike glycoprotein, and could therefore be a promising lead compound in the prevention and control of this disease.

17.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 23(24): 13752-13759, 2021 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270680

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has recently caused an epidemic in humans and poses a huge threat to global public health. As a primary receptor of SARS-CoV-2, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) exists in different hosts that are in close contact with humans, especially cats and dogs. However, the underlying mechanism of how the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 cooperates with human ACE2 (hACE2), cat ACE2 (cACE2) and dog ACE2 (dACE2) and the variation in binding remains largely unsolved. Therefore, we explored the binding behavior of the spike RBD with cACE2, dACE2 and hACE2 via all-atom molecular dynamics simulations. In accordance with the binding free energies and residue interactions, the spike RBD has respective binding specificities with cACE2, dACE2 and hACE2, and the binding affinities decrease in the order of hACE2, cACE2, dACE2, mainly due to changes in the amino acids Q24L, H34Y, and M82T in cACE2 or dACE2. Furthermore, alanine scanning analysis results validated some key residues of the spike RBD interact with ACE2 and provided clues to the variation of amino acid that could influence the transmissibility or immune responses of SARS-CoV-2. Decreasing dynamic correlations strengths of ACE2 with the RBD were found in all hACE2-RBD, cACE2-RBD and dACE2-RBD systems. The ACE2 protein shows variable motion modes across the zinc metallopeptidase domain, which induces different interactions between ACE2 and the RBD. Our studies reveal that the motion pattern of the zinc metallopeptidase domain is critical to the binding behavior of RBD with ACE2. These findings could aid our understanding of selective recognition involving various ACE2 with the SARS-CoV-2 spike and shed further light on the binding mechanisms.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Cats , Dogs , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Principal Component Analysis , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Domains/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Thermodynamics
18.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 12567, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270674

ABSTRACT

The initial stages of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus attachment to human cells are mediated by non-covalent interactions of viral spike (S) protein receptor binding domains (S-RBD) with human ACE2 receptors (hACE2). Structural characterization techniques, such as X-ray crystallography (XRC) and cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM), previously identified SARS-CoV-2 spike protein conformations and their surface residues in contact with hACE2. However, recent quantum-biochemical calculations on the structurally related S-RBD of SARS-CoV-1 identified some contact-residue fragments as intrinsically attractive and others as repulsive. This indicates that not all surface residues are equally important for hACE2 attachment. Here, using similar quantum-biochemical methods, we report some four-residue fragments (i.e quartets) of the SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD as intrinsically attractive towards hACE2 and, therefore, directly promoting host-virus non-covalent binding. Other fragments are found to be repulsive although involved in intermolecular recognition. By evaluation of their respective intermolecular interaction energies we found two hACE2 fragments that include contact residues (ASP30, LYS31, HIS34) and (ASP38, TYR41, GLN42), respectively, behaving as important SARS-CoV-2 attractors. LYS353 also promotes viral binding via several mechanisms including dispersion van der Waals forces. Similarly, among others, three SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD fragments that include residues (GLN498, THR500, ASN501), (GLU484, PHE486, ASN487) and (LYS417), respectively, were identified as hACE2 attractors. In addition, key hACE2 quartets identified as weakly-repulsive towards the S-RBD of SARS-CoV-1 were found strongly attractive towards SARS-CoV-2 explaining, in part, the stronger binding affinity of hACE2 towards the latter coronavirus. These findings may guide the development of synthetic antibodies or identify potential viral epitopes.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Protein Domains
19.
Front Immunol ; 12: 656433, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268249

ABSTRACT

Background: The pathogenesis of COVID-19 emerges as complex, with multiple factors leading to injury of different organs. Some of the studies on aspects of SARS-CoV-2 cell entry and innate immunity have produced seemingly contradictory claims. In this situation, a comprehensive comparative analysis of a large number of related datasets from several studies could bring more clarity, which is imperative for therapy development. Methods: We therefore performed a comprehensive comparative study, analyzing RNA-Seq data of infections with SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, including data from different types of cells as well as COVID-19 patients. Using these data, we investigated viral entry routes and innate immune responses. Results and Conclusion: First, our analyses support the existence of cell entry mechanisms for SARS and SARS-CoV-2 other than the ACE2 route with evidence of inefficient infection of cells without expression of ACE2; expression of TMPRSS2/TPMRSS4 is unnecessary for efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection with evidence of efficient infection of A549 cells transduced with a vector expressing human ACE2. Second, we find that innate immune responses in terms of interferons and interferon simulated genes are strong in relevant cells, for example Calu3 cells, but vary markedly with cell type, virus dose, and virus type.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , RNA, Viral , RNA-Seq , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Internalization
20.
Nutr Hosp ; 38(3): 622-630, 2021 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264738

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Compared with adults, children with SARS-CoV-2 infection may have fewer and less severe symptoms. Gastrointestinal symptoms are commonly reported in children, sometimes as the only manifestation of the disease, and most often manifest as anorexia, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, or abdominal pain. Although most children have asymptomatic or mild disease, 10 % of those infected may experience serious or critical disease, or even death. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome is a rare but serious condition recently reported in children with COVID-19. Studies indicate that children with obesity are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19, and inflammation associated with obesity could be one of the factors that worsens COVID-19 symptoms due to an increased inflammatory response involving molecules such as interleukin 6, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and monocyte chemoattractant protein. On the other hand, evidence has been reported of a higher protein expression of ACE2 in the visceral adipose tissue of obese and malnourished humans, and this could be associated with complications and severity of COVID-19. Therefore, regulation of the intake of macronutrients or micronutrients could be used as a strategy to reduce the consequences of COVID-19. Diet in general and bioactive compounds could play an important role in the prevention of the inflammatory cascade. The micronutrients with the most evidence suggesting a role in immune support are vitamins C and D, zinc, and polyphenols.


La enfermedad por coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) está causada por el virus "síndrome respiratorio agudo severo-coronavirus 2" (SARS-CoV-2). En comparación con los adultos, los niños con infección por SARS-CoV-2 pueden tener menos síntomas y estos pueden ser menos graves. Los síntomas gastrointestinales se informan comúnmente en los niños, a veces como única manifestación de la enfermedad. Los más comunes son anorexia, diarrea, náuseas y vómitos, y dolor abdominal. Aunque la mayoría de los niños tienen un cuadro leve o asintomático, el 10 % de los infectados pueden experimentar un cuadro grave o crítico, e incluso la muerte. El síndrome inflamatorio multisistémico es una afección poco común, pero grave, que se documentó recientemente en niños con COVID-19. Los estudios indican que los niños con obesidad tienen mayor riesgo de desarrollar COVID-19 grave, y la inflamación asociada con la obesidad podría ser uno de los factores que empeoran los síntomas de la COVID-19 debido a una respuesta inflamatoria aumentada en donde se ven involucradas moléculas como la interleucina 6, el factor de necrosis tumoral alfa y la proteína quimioatrayente de monocitos. Por otro lado, se ha encontrado evidencia de una mayor expresión proteica de ACE2 en el tejido adiposo visceral de los seres humanos obesos y desnutridos, y esto podría estar asociado a las complicaciones y la severidad de la COVID-19. Por tanto, la regulación de la ingesta de macronutrientes o micronutrientes podría utilizarse como estrategia para reducir las consecuencias de la enfermedad. La dieta en general y los compuestos bioactivos podrían desempeñar un papel importante en la prevención de la cascada inflamatoria. Los micronutrientes con mayor evidencia indicativa de que desempeñan un papel en el apoyo inmunológico son las vitaminas C y D, el zinc y los polifenoles.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Gastrointestinal Diseases/etiology , Pediatric Obesity/complications , Abdominal Pain/etiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Anorexia/etiology , Ascorbic Acid/administration & dosage , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Child , Diarrhea/etiology , Female , Humans , Inflammation/complications , Male , Nausea/etiology , Overweight/complications , Oxidative Stress , Pediatric Obesity/metabolism , Polyphenols/administration & dosage , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/etiology , Thinness/complications , Thinness/metabolism , Vitamin D/administration & dosage , Vitamins/administration & dosage , Vomiting/etiology , Zinc/administration & dosage , Zinc/deficiency
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