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1.
Cell Discov ; 7(1): 44, 2021 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269383

ABSTRACT

The presence of SARS-CoV-2 mutants, including the emerging variant B.1.1.7, has raised great concerns in terms of pathogenesis, transmission, and immune escape. Characterizing SARS-CoV-2 mutations, evolution, and effects on infectivity and pathogenicity is crucial to the design of antibody therapies and surveillance strategies. Here, we analyzed 454,443 SARS-CoV-2 spike genes/proteins and 14,427 whole-genome sequences. We demonstrated that the early variant B.1.1.7 may not have evolved spontaneously in the United Kingdom or within human populations. Our extensive analyses suggested that Canidae, Mustelidae or Felidae, especially the Canidae family (for example, dog) could be a possible host of the direct progenitor of variant B.1.1.7. An alternative hypothesis is that the variant was simply yet to be sampled. Notably, the SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome represents a large number of potential co-mutations. In addition, we used an experimental SARS-CoV-2 reporter replicon system to introduce the dominant co-mutations NSP12_c14408t, 5'UTR_c241t, and NSP3_c3037t into the viral genome, and to monitor the effect of the mutations on viral replication. Our experimental results demonstrated that the co-mutations significantly attenuated the viral replication. The study provides valuable clues for discovering the transmission chains of variant B.1.1.7 and understanding the evolutionary process of SARS-CoV-2.

2.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 557: 273-279, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174101

ABSTRACT

Recently, the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which has spread from China to the world, was declared a global public health emergency, which causes lethal respiratory infections. Acetylation of several proteins plays essential roles in various biological processes, such as viral infections. We reported that the nucleoproteins of influenza virus and Zaire Ebolavirus were acetylated, suggesting that these modifications contributed to the molecular events involved in viral replication. Similar to influenza virus and Ebolavirus, the coronavirus also contains single-stranded RNA, as its viral genome interacts with the nucleocapsid (N) proteins. In this study, we report that SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 N proteins are strongly acetylated by human histone acetyltransferases, P300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF), and general control nonderepressible 5 (GCN5), but not by CREB-binding protein (CBP) in vitro. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses identified 2 and 12 acetyl-lysine residues from SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 N proteins, respectively. Particularly in the SARS-CoV-2 N proteins, the acetyl-lysine residues were localized in or close to several functional sites, such as the RNA interaction domains and the M-protein interacting site. These results suggest that acetylation of SARS-CoV-2 N proteins plays crucial roles in their functions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Histone Acetyltransferases/metabolism , SARS Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/metabolism , p300-CBP Transcription Factors/metabolism , Acetylation , CREB-Binding Protein/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Humans , Models, Molecular , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , SARS Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry
3.
Microorganisms ; 8(8)2020 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-854167

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The viral outbreak started in late 2019 and rapidly became a serious health threat to the global population. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. Several therapeutic options have been adopted to prevent the spread of the virus. Although vaccines have been developed, antivirals are still needed to combat the infection of this virus. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus, and its genome encodes polyproteins that can be processed into structural and nonstructural proteins. Maturation of viral proteins requires cleavages by proteases. Therefore, the main protease (3 chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro) or Mpro) encoded by the viral genome is an attractive drug target because it plays an important role in cleaving viral polyproteins into functional proteins. Inhibiting this enzyme is an efficient strategy to block viral replication. Structural studies provide valuable insight into the function of this protease and structural basis for rational inhibitor design. In this review, we describe structural studies on the main protease of SARS-CoV-2. The strategies applied in developing inhibitors of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 and currently available protein inhibitors are summarized. Due to the availability of high-resolution structures, structure-guided drug design will play an important role in developing antivirals. The availability of high-resolution structures, potent peptidic inhibitors, and diverse compound scaffolds indicate the feasibility of developing potent protease inhibitors as antivirals for COVID-19.

4.
Saudi J Biol Sci ; 27(10): 2674-2682, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-592194

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses with the largest viral genomes are positive-sense RNA viruses associated with a history of global epidemics such as the severe respiratory syndrome (SARS), the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and recently the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). There has been no vaccines or drugs available for the treatment of human coronavirus infections to date. In the present study, we have explored the possibilities of FDA approved drugs as potential inhibitors of the coronavirus main protease, a therapeutically important drug target playing a salient role in the maturation and processing of the viral polyproteins and are vital for viral replication and transcription. We have used molecular docking approach and have successfully identified the best lead molecules for each enzyme target. Interestingly, the anti-migraine drugs such as ergotamine and its derivative, dihydroergotamine were found to bind to all the three target enzymes within the Cys-His catalytic dyad cleft with lower binding energies as compared to the control inhibitors (α-ketoamide 13b, SG85 and GC813) and the molecules are held within the pocket through a good number of hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Hence both these lead molecules can be further taken for wet-lab experimentation studies before repurposing them as anti-coronaviral drug candidates.

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