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1.
J Chem Inf Model ; 62(20): 4916-4927, 2022 10 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2062143

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the COVID-19 outbreak that is affecting the entire planet. As the pandemic is still spreading worldwide, with multiple mutations of the virus, it is of interest and of help to employ computational methods for identifying potential inhibitors of the enzymes responsible for viral replication. Attractive antiviral nucleotide analogue RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) chain terminator inhibitors are investigated with this purpose. This study, based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, addresses the important aspects of the incorporation of an endogenously synthesized nucleoside triphosphate, ddhCTP, in comparison with the natural nucleobase cytidine triphosphate (CTP) in RdRp. The ddhCTP species is the product of the viperin antiviral protein as part of the innate immune response. The absence of the ribose 3'-OH in ddhCTP could have important implications in its inhibitory mechanism of RdRp. We built an in silico model of the RNA strand embedded in RdRp using experimental methods, starting from the cryo-electron microscopy structure and exploiting the information obtained by spectrometry on the RNA sequence. We determined that the model was stable during the MD simulation time. The obtained results provide deeper insights into the incorporation of nucleoside triphosphates, whose molecular mechanism by the RdRp active site still remains elusive.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytidine Triphosphate , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Cytidine Triphosphate/chemistry , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Nucleosides , Nucleotides , Ribose , RNA, Viral , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
2.
Comput Biol Med ; 149: 106035, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2003991

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) B.1.1.529 variant (Omicron), represents a significant deviation in genetic makeup and function compared to previous variants. Following the BA.1 sublineage, the BA.2 and BA.3 Omicron subvariants became dominant, and currently the BA.4 and BA.5, which are quite distinct variants, have emerged. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we investigated the binding characteristics of the Delta and Omicron (BA.1) variants in comparison to wild-type (WT) at the interface of the spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) and human angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) ectodomain. The primary aim was to compare our molecular modelling systems with previously published observations, to determine the robustness of our approach for rapid prediction of emerging future variants. Delta and Omicron were found to bind to ACE2 with similar affinities (-39.4 and -43.3 kcal/mol, respectively) and stronger than WT (-33.5 kcal/mol). In line with previously published observations, the energy contributions of the non-mutated residues at the interface were largely retained between WT and the variants, with F456, F486, and Y489 having the strongest energy contributions to ACE2 binding. Further, residues N440K, Q498R, and N501Y were predicted to be energetically favourable in Omicron. In contrast to Omicron, which had the E484A and K417N mutations, intermolecular bonds were detected for the residue pairs E484:K31 and K417:D30 in WT and Delta, in accordance with previously published findings. Overall, our simplified molecular modelling approach represents a step towards predictive model systems for rapidly analysing arising variants of concern.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
3.
J Virol ; 96(17): e0114022, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2001778

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants were first detected in November 2021, and several Omicron lineages (BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, and BA.5) have since rapidly emerged. Studies characterizing the mechanisms of Omicron variant infection and sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies induced upon vaccination are ongoing by several groups. In the present study, we used pseudoviruses to show that the transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) enhances infection of BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, and BA.3 Omicron variants to a lesser extent than ancestral D614G. We further show that Omicron variants have higher sensitivity to inhibition by soluble angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and the endosomal inhibitor chloroquine compared to D614G. The Omicron variants also more efficiently used ACE2 receptors from 9 out of 10 animal species tested, and unlike the D614G variant, used mouse ACE2 due to the Q493R and Q498R spike substitutions. Finally, neutralization of the Omicron variants by antibodies induced by three doses of Pfizer/BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was 7- to 8-fold less potent than the D614G. These results provide insights into the transmissibility and immune evasion capacity of the emerging Omicron variants to curb their ongoing spread. IMPORTANCE The ongoing emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants with an extensive number of spike mutations poses a significant public health and zoonotic concern due to enhanced transmission fitness and escape from neutralizing antibodies. We studied three Omicron lineage variants (BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3) and found that transmembrane serine protease 2 has less influence on Omicron entry into cells than on D614G, and Omicron exhibits greater sensitivity to endosomal entry inhibition compared to D614G. In addition, Omicron displays more efficient usage of diverse animal species ACE2 receptors than D614G. Furthermore, due to Q493R/Q498R substitutions in spike, Omicron, but not D614G, can use the mouse ACE2 receptor. Finally, three doses of Pfizer/BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination elicit high neutralization titers against Omicron variants, although the neutralization titers are still 7- to 8-fold lower those that against D614G. These results may give insights into the transmissibility and immune evasion capacity of the emerging Omicron variants to curb their ongoing spread.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Internalization , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/administration & dosage , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immune Evasion/immunology , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Species Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
4.
Sci Adv ; 8(33): eabo3153, 2022 08 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2001755

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 cell entry is completed after viral spike (S) protein-mediated membrane fusion between viral and host cell membranes. Stable prefusion and postfusion S structures have been resolved by cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-electron tomography, but the refolding intermediates on the fusion pathway are transient and have not been examined. We used an antiviral lipopeptide entry inhibitor to arrest S protein refolding and thereby capture intermediates as S proteins interact with hACE2 and fusion-activating proteases on cell-derived target membranes. Cryo-electron tomography imaged both extended and partially folded intermediate states of S2, as well as a novel late-stage conformation on the pathway to membrane fusion. The intermediates now identified in this dynamic S protein-directed fusion provide mechanistic insights that may guide the design of CoV entry inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Internalization
5.
J Virol ; 96(15): e0055822, 2022 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1962090

ABSTRACT

As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to evolve, several variants of concern (VOCs) have arisen which are defined by multiple mutations in their spike proteins. These VOCs have shown variable escape from antibody responses and have been shown to trigger qualitatively different antibody responses during infection. By studying plasma from individuals infected with either the original D614G, Beta, or Delta variants, we showed that the Beta and Delta variants elicit antibody responses that are overall more cross-reactive than those triggered by D614G. Patterns of cross-reactivity varied, and the Beta and Delta variants did not elicit cross-reactive responses to each other. However, Beta-elicited plasma was highly cross-reactive against Delta Plus (Delta+), which differs from Delta by a single K417N mutation in the receptor binding domain, suggesting that the plasma response targets the N417 residue. To probe this further, we isolated monoclonal antibodies from a Beta-infected individual with plasma responses against Beta, Delta+, and Omicron, which all possess the N417 residue. We isolated an N417-dependent antibody, 084-7D, which showed similar neutralization breadth to the plasma. The 084-7D MAb utilized the IGHV3-23*01 germ line gene and had somatic hypermutations similar to those of previously described public antibodies which target the 417 residue. Thus, we have identified a novel antibody which targets a shared epitope found on three distinct VOCs, enabling their cross-neutralization. Understanding antibodies targeting escape mutations, such as K417N, which repeatedly emerge through convergent evolution in SARS-CoV-2 variants, may aid in the development of next-generation antibody therapeutics and vaccines. IMPORTANCE The evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in variants of concern (VOCs) with distinct spike mutations conferring various immune escape profiles. These variable mutations also influence the cross-reactivity of the antibody response mounted by individuals infected with each of these variants. This study sought to understand the antibody responses elicited by different SARS-CoV-2 variants and to define shared epitopes. We show that Beta and Delta infections resulted in antibody responses that were more cross-reactive than the original D614G variant, but they had differing patterns of cross-reactivity. We further isolated an antibody from Beta infection which targeted the N417 site, enabling cross-neutralization of Beta, Delta+, and Omicron, all of which possess this residue. The discovery of antibodies which target escape mutations common to multiple variants highlights conserved epitopes to target in future vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
6.
J Chem Inf Model ; 62(16): 3844-3853, 2022 08 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947179

ABSTRACT

On 26 November 2021, the WHO classified the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (B.1.1.529 lineage) as a variant of concern (VOC) (COVID-19 Variant Data, Department of Health, 2022). The Omicron variant contains as many as 26 unique mutations of effects not yet determined (Venkatakrishnan, A., Open Science Framework, 2021). Out of its total of 34 Spike protein mutations, 15 are located on the receptor-binding domain (S-RBD) (Stanford Coronavirus Antiviral & Resistance Database, 2022) that directly contacts the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) host receptor and is also a primary target for antibodies. Here, we studied the binding mode of the S-RBD domain of the Spike protein carrying the Omicron mutations and the globular domain of human ACE2 using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We identified new and key Omicron-specific interactions such as R493 (of mutation Q493R), which forms salt bridges both with E35 and D38 of ACE2, Y501 (N501Y), which forms an edge-to-face aromatic interaction with Y41, and Y505 (Y505H), which makes an H-bond with E37 and K353. The glycan chains of ACE2 also bind differently in the WT and Omicron variants in response to different charge distributions on the surface of Spike proteins. However, while the Omicron mutations considerably improve the overall electrostatic fit of the two interfaces, the total number of specific and favorable interactions between the two does not increase. The dynamics of the complexes are highly affected too, making the Omicron S-RBD:ACE2 complex more rigid; the two main interaction sites, Patches I and II, isolated in the WT complex, become connected in the Omicron complex through the alternating interaction of R493 and R498 with E35 and D38.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Humans , Mutation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism
7.
J Virol ; 96(15): e0095822, 2022 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1949998

ABSTRACT

The spike protein on sarbecovirus virions contains two external, protruding domains: an N-terminal domain (NTD) with unclear function and a C-terminal domain (CTD) that binds the host receptor, allowing for viral entry and infection. While the CTD is well studied for therapeutic interventions, the role of the NTD is far less well understood for many coronaviruses. Here, we demonstrate that the spike NTD from SARS-CoV-2 and other sarbecoviruses binds to unidentified glycans in vitro similarly to other members of the Coronaviridae family. We also show that these spike NTD (S-NTD) proteins adhere to Calu3 cells, a human lung cell line, although the biological relevance of this is unclear. In contrast to what has been shown for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which attaches sialic acids during cell entry, sialic acids present on Calu3 cells inhibited sarbecovirus infection. Therefore, while sarbecoviruses can interact with cell surface glycans similarly to other coronaviruses, their reliance on glycans for entry is different from that of other respiratory coronaviruses, suggesting sarbecoviruses and MERS-CoV have adapted to different cell types, tissues, or hosts during their divergent evolution. Our findings provide important clues for further exploring the biological functions of sarbecovirus glycan binding and adds to our growing understanding of the complex forces that shape coronavirus spike evolution. IMPORTANCE Spike N-terminal domains (S-NTD) of sarbecoviruses are highly diverse; however, their function remains largely understudied compared with the receptor-binding domains (RBD). Here, we show that sarbecovirus S-NTD can be phylogenetically clustered into five clades and exhibit various levels of glycan binding in vitro. We also show that, unlike some coronaviruses, including MERS-CoV, sialic acids present on the surface of Calu3, a human lung cell culture, inhibit SARS-CoV-2 and other sarbecoviruses. These results suggest that while glycan binding might be an ancestral trait conserved across different coronavirus families, the functional outcome during infection can vary, reflecting divergent viral evolution. Our results expand our knowledge on the biological functions of the S-NTD across diverse sarbecoviruses and provide insight on the evolutionary history of coronavirus spike.


Subject(s)
Evolution, Molecular , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Polysaccharides , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/chemistry , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/classification , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sialic Acids/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
8.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263251, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938414

ABSTRACT

The main protease (3CLpro) is one of the essential components of the SARS-CoVs viral life cycle, which makes it an interesting target for overpowering these viruses. Although many covalent and noncovalent inhibitors have been designed to inhibit this molecular target, none have gained FDA approval as a drug. Because of the high rate of COVID-19 pandemic development, in addition to laboratory research, we require in silico methods to accelerate rational drug design. The unbinding pathways of two SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro noncovalent inhibitors with the PDB IDs: 3V3M, 4MDS, 6W63, 5RF7 were explored from a comparative perspective using unbiased molecular dynamics (UMD) simulations. We uncovered common weak points for selected inhibitors that could not interact significantly with a binding pocket at specific residues by all their fragments. So water molecules entered the free binding S regions and weakened protein-inhibitor fundamental interactions gradually. N142, G143, and H163 are the essential residues, which cause key protein-ligand interactions in the binding pocket. We believe that these results will help design new potent inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Drug Design , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
9.
ACS Infect Dis ; 8(8): 1533-1542, 2022 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931304

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 non-structural protein 13 (nsp13) is a highly conserved helicase and RNA 5'-triphosphatase. It uses the energy derived from the hydrolysis of nucleoside triphosphates for directional movement along the nucleic acids and promotes the unwinding of double-stranded nucleic acids. Nsp13 is essential for replication and propagation of all human and non-human coronaviruses. Combined with its defined nucleotide binding site and druggability, nsp13 is one of the most promising candidates for the development of pan-coronavirus therapeutics. Here, we report the development and optimization of bioluminescence assays for kinetic characterization of nsp13 ATPase activity in the presence and absence of single-stranded DNA. Screening of a library of 5000 small molecules in the presence of single-stranded DNA resulted in the discovery of six nsp13 small-molecule inhibitors with IC50 values ranging from 6 ± 0.5 to 50 ± 6 µM. In addition to providing validated methods for high-throughput screening of nsp13 in drug discovery campaigns, the reproducible screening hits we present here could potentially be chemistry starting points toward the development of more potent and selective nsp13 inhibitors, enabling the discovery of antiviral therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Methyltransferases/metabolism , RNA Helicases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Adenosine Triphosphatases , COVID-19/virology , DNA, Single-Stranded , Humans , Methyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , Nucleic Acids/metabolism , RNA Helicases/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors
10.
J Chem Theory Comput ; 17(12): 7972-7979, 2021 Dec 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908075

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It is known that the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 interacts with the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, initiating the entry of SARS-CoV-2. Since its emergence, a number of SARS-CoV-2 variants have been reported, and the variants that show high infectivity are classified as variants of concern according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this study, we performed both all-atom steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations and microscale thermophoresis (MST) experiments to characterize the binding interactions between ACE2 and RBD of all current variants of concern (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta) and two variants of interest (Epsilon and Kappa). We report that RBD of the Alpha (N501Y) variant requires the highest amount of force initially to be detached from ACE2 due to the N501Y mutation in addition to the role of N90-glycan, followed by Beta/Gamma (K417N/T, E484 K, and N501Y) or Delta (L452R and T478 K) variants. Among all variants investigated in this work, RBD of the Epsilon (L452R) variant is relatively easily detached from ACE2. Our results from both SMD simulations and MST experiments indicate what makes each variant more contagious in terms of RBD and ACE2 interactions. This study could shed light on developing new drugs to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry effectively.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virus Internalization
11.
J Virol ; 96(13): e0068522, 2022 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891738

ABSTRACT

Since its outbreak in 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread with high transmission efficiency across the world, putting health care as well as economic systems under pressure. During the course of the pandemic, the originally identified SARS-CoV-2 variant has been multiple times replaced by various mutant versions, which showed enhanced fitness due to increased infection and transmission rates. In order to find an explanation for why SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging mutated versions showed enhanced transmission efficiency compared with SARS-CoV (2002), an enhanced binding affinity of the spike protein to human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) has been proposed by crystal structure analysis and was identified in cell culture models. Kinetic analysis of the interaction of various spike protein constructs with hACE2 was considered to be best described by a Langmuir-based 1:1 stoichiometric interaction. However, we demonstrate in this report that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interaction with hACE2 is best described by a two-step interaction, which is defined by an initial binding event followed by a slower secondary rate transition that enhances the stability of the complex by a factor of ~190 (primary versus secondary state) with an overall equilibrium dissociation constant (KD) of 0.20 nM. In addition, we show that the secondary rate transition is not only present in SARS-CoV-2 wild type ("wt"; Wuhan strain) but also found in the B.1.1.7 variant, where its transition rate is 5-fold increased. IMPORTANCE The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is characterized by the high infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 and its derived variants of concern (VOCs). It has been widely assumed that the reason for its increased cell entry compared with SARS-CoV (2002) is due to alterations in the viral spike protein, where single amino acid residue substitutions can increase affinity for hACE2. So far, the interaction of a single unit of the CoV-2 spike protein has been described using the 1:1 Langmuir interaction kinetic. However, we demonstrate here that there is a secondary state binding step that may be essential for novel VOCs in order to further increase their infectivity. These findings are important for quantitatively understanding the infection process of SARS-CoV-2 and characterization of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of spike proteins. Thus, they provide a tool for predicting the potential infectivity of the respective viral variants based on secondary rate transition and secondary complex stability.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Kinetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Structure, Secondary , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
12.
J Virol Methods ; 307: 114564, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1878302

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infections has led to excess deaths worldwide. Neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) against viral spike protein acquired from natural infections or vaccinations contribute to protection against new- and re-infections. Besides neutralization, antibody-mediated cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and phagocytosis (ADCP) are also important for viral clearance. However, due to the lack of convenient methods, the ADCC and ADCP responses elicited by viral infections or vaccinations remain to be explored. Here, we developed cell-based assays using target cells stably expressing SARS-CoV-2 spikes and Jurkat-NFAT-CD16a/CD32a effector cells for ADCC/ADCP measurements of monoclonal antibodies and human convalescent COVID-19 plasmas (HCPs). In control samples (n = 190), the specificity was 99.5% (95%CI: 98.4-100%) and 97.4% (95%CI: 95.1-99.6%) for the ADCC and ADCP assays, respectively. Among 87 COVID-19 HCPs, 83 (sensitivity: 95.4%, 95%CI: 91.0-99.8%) and 81 (sensitivity: 93.1%, 95%CI: 87.8-98.4%) showed detectable ADCC (titer range: 7.4-1721.6) and ADCP activities (titer range: 4-523.2). Notably, both ADCC and ADCP antibody titers positively correlated with the nAb titers in HCPs. In summary, we developed new tools for quantitative ADCC and ADCP analysis against SARS-CoV-2, which may facilitate further evaluations of Fc-mediated effector functions in preventing and treating against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Pandemics , Phagocytosis , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
13.
Biophys Chem ; 287: 106829, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850725

ABSTRACT

The viral main protease (Mpro) from a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a key enzyme essential for viral replication and has become an attractive target for antiviral drug development. The Mpro forms a functional dimer and exhibits a pH-dependent enzyme activity and dimerization. Here, we report a molecular dynamics (MD) investigation to gain insights into the structural stability of the enzyme dimer at neutral and acidic pH. Our data shows larger changes in structure of the protein with the acidic pH than that with the neutral pH. Structural analysis of MD trajectories reveals a substantial increase in intersubunit separation, the loss of domain contacts, binding free energy and interaction energy of the dimer which implies the protein instability and tendency of dimer dissociation at acidic pH. The loss in the interaction energy is mainly driven by electrostatic interactions. We have identified the intersubunit hydrogen-bonding residues involved in the decreased dimer stability. These findings may be helpful for rational drug design and target evaluation against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
14.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 616: 14-18, 2022 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850694

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a major threat to human health. As a unique putative protein of SARS-CoV-2, the N-terminus of ORF10 can be recognized by ZYG11B, a substrate receptor of the Cullin 2-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase (CRL2). Here we elucidated recognition mechanism of ORF10 N-terminus by ZYG11B through presenting the crystal structure of ZYG11B bound to ORF10 N-terminal peptide. Our work expands the current understanding of ORF10 interaction with ZYG11B, and may also inspire the development of novel therapies for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cell Cycle Proteins , Open Reading Frames , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Cycle Proteins/chemistry , Cell Cycle Proteins/metabolism , Cullin Proteins , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/chemistry , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/metabolism
15.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 18(5): e1010121, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846916

ABSTRACT

The nucleocapsid (N) protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causal agent of COVID-19, is a multifunction phosphoprotein that plays critical roles in the virus life cycle, including transcription and packaging of the viral RNA. To play such diverse roles, the N protein has two globular RNA-binding modules, the N- (NTD) and C-terminal (CTD) domains, which are connected by an intrinsically disordered region. Despite the wealth of structural data available for the isolated NTD and CTD, how these domains are arranged in the full-length protein and how the oligomerization of N influences its RNA-binding activity remains largely unclear. Herein, using experimental data from electron microscopy and biochemical/biophysical techniques combined with molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulations, we show that, in the absence of RNA, the N protein formed structurally dynamic dimers, with the NTD and CTD arranged in extended conformations. However, in the presence of RNA, the N protein assumed a more compact conformation where the NTD and CTD are packed together. We also provided an octameric model for the full-length N bound to RNA that is consistent with electron microscopy images of the N protein in the presence of RNA. Together, our results shed new light on the dynamics and higher-order oligomeric structure of this versatile protein.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Microscopy, Electron , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
16.
J Am Chem Soc ; 144(20): 9057-9065, 2022 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839492

ABSTRACT

Glycosylation of proteins is a complicated post-translational modification. Despite the significant progress in glycoproteomics, accurate functions of glycoproteins are still ambiguous owing to the difficulty in obtaining homogeneous glycopeptides or glycoproteins. Here, we describe a streamlined chemoenzymatic method to prepare complex glycopeptides by integrating hydrophobic tag-supported chemical synthesis and enzymatic glycosylations. The hydrophobic tag is utilized to facilitate peptide chain elongation in the liquid phase and expeditious product separation. After removal of the tag, a series of glycans are installed on the peptides via efficient glycosyltransferase-catalyzed reactions. The general applicability and robustness of this approach are exemplified by efficient preparation of 16 well-defined SARS-CoV-2 O-glycopeptides, 4 complex MUC1 glycopeptides, and a 31-mer glycosylated glucagon-like peptide-1. Our developed approach will open up a new range of easy access to various complex glycopeptides of biological importance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Glycopeptides , SARS-CoV-2 , Glycopeptides/chemical synthesis , Glycopeptides/chemistry , Glycoproteins/chemistry , Glycosylation , Humans , Peptides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry
17.
Radiat Res ; 198(1): 68-80, 2022 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793416

ABSTRACT

Here we show an interplay between the structures present in ionization tracks and nucleocapsid RNA structural biology, using fast ion-beam inactivation of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) virion as an example. This interplay could be a key factor in predicting dose-inactivation curves for high-energy ion-beam inactivation of virions. We also investigate the adaptation of well-established cross-section data derived from radiation interactions with water to the interactions involving the components of a virion, going beyond the density-scaling approximation developed previously. We conclude that solving one of the grand challenges of structural biology - the determination of RNA tertiary/quaternary structure - is linked to predicting ion-beam inactivation of viruses and that the two problems can be mutually informative. Indeed, our simulations show that fast ion beams have a key role to play in elucidating RNA tertiary/quaternary structure.


Subject(s)
Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Inactivation , Ions , Models, Molecular , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Radiobiology/methods , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virion/chemistry
18.
J Biol Chem ; 298(4): 101814, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788109

ABSTRACT

Within the last 2 decades, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses 1 and 2 (SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2) have caused two major outbreaks; yet, for reasons not fully understood, the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has been significantly more widespread than the 2003 SARS epidemic caused by SARS-CoV-1, despite striking similarities between these two viruses. The SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins, both of which bind to host cell angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, have been implied to be a potential source of their differential transmissibility. However, the mechanistic details of prefusion spike protein binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 remain elusive at the molecular level. Here, we performed an extensive set of equilibrium and nonequilibrium microsecond-level all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 prefusion spike proteins to determine their differential dynamic behavior. Our results indicate that the active form of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is more stable than that of SARS-CoV-1 and the energy barrier associated with the activation is higher in SARS-CoV-2. These results suggest that not only the receptor-binding domain but also other domains such as the N-terminal domain could play a crucial role in the differential binding behavior of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , SARS Virus/chemistry , SARS Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
19.
J Virol ; 96(8): e0201321, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779314

ABSTRACT

The high mutation rate of COVID-19 and the prevalence of multiple variants strongly support the need for pharmacological options to complement vaccine strategies. One region that appears highly conserved among different genera of coronaviruses is the substrate-binding site of the main protease (Mpro or 3CLpro), making it an attractive target for the development of broad-spectrum drugs for multiple coronaviruses. PF-07321332, developed by Pfizer, is the first orally administered inhibitor targeting the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, which also has shown potency against other coronaviruses. Here, we report three crystal structures of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV bound to the inhibitor PF-07321332. The structures reveal a ligand-binding site that is conserved among SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV, providing insights into the mechanism of inhibition of viral replication. The long and narrow cavity in the cleft between domains I and II of the main protease harbors multiple inhibitor-binding sites, where PF-07321332 occupies subsites S1, S2, and S4 and appears more restricted than other inhibitors. A detailed analysis of these structures illuminated key structural determinants essential for inhibition and elucidated the binding mode of action of the main proteases from different coronaviruses. Given the importance of the main protease for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection, insights derived from this study should accelerate the design of safer and more effective antivirals. IMPORTANCE The current pandemic of multiple variants has created an urgent need for effective inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 to complement vaccine strategies. PF-07321332, developed by Pfizer, is the first orally administered coronavirus-specific main protease inhibitor approved by the FDA. We solved the crystal structures of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV that bound to the PF-07321332, suggesting PF-07321332 is a broad-spectrum inhibitor for coronaviruses. Structures of the main protease inhibitor complexes present an opportunity to discover safer and more effective inhibitors for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Lactams , Leucine , Nitriles , Peptide Hydrolases , Proline , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Lactams/chemistry , Lactams/metabolism , Leucine/chemistry , Leucine/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/chemistry , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/enzymology , Nitriles/chemistry , Nitriles/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/chemistry , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Proline/chemistry , Proline/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , SARS Virus/chemistry , SARS Virus/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
20.
Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol ; 78(Pt 3): 363-378, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758984

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) has a pivotal role in mediating viral genome replication and transcription of the coronavirus, making it a promising target for drugs against the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, a crystal structure is presented in which Mpro adopts an inactive state that has never been observed before, called new-inactive. It is shown that the oxyanion loop, which is involved in substrate recognition and enzymatic activity, adopts a new catalytically incompetent conformation and that many of the key interactions of the active conformation of the enzyme around the active site are lost. Solvation/desolvation energetic contributions play an important role in the transition from the inactive to the active state, with Phe140 moving from an exposed to a buried environment and Asn142 moving from a buried environment to an exposed environment. In new-inactive Mpro a new cavity is present near the S2' subsite, and the N-terminal and C-terminal tails, as well as the dimeric interface, are perturbed, with partial destabilization of the dimeric assembly. This novel conformation is relevant both for comprehension of the mechanism of action of Mpro within the catalytic cycle and for the successful structure-based drug design of antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Catalytic Domain , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Models, Molecular , Protein Conformation , Protein Multimerization
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