Identification of a receptor-binding pocket on the envelope protein of friend murine leukemia virus.
ABSTRACT: Based on previous structural and functional studies, a potential receptor-binding site composed of residues that form a pocket at one end of the two long antiparallel helices in the receptor-binding domain of Friend 57 murine leukemia virus envelope protein (RBD) has been proposed. To test this hypothesis, directed substitutions for residues in the pocket were introduced and consequences for infection and for receptor binding were measured. Receptor binding was measured initially by a sensitive assay based on coexpression of receptor and RBD in Xenopus oocytes, and the findings were confirmed by using purified proteins. Three residues that are critical for both binding and infection (S84, D86, and W102), with side chains that extend into the pocket, were identified. Moreover, when mCAT-1 was overexpressed, the infectivity of Fr57-MLV carrying pocket substitutions was partially restored. Substitutions for 18 adjacent residues and 11 other previously unexamined surface-exposed residues outside of the RBD pocket had no detectable effect on function. Taken together, these findings support a model in which the RBD pocket interacts directly with mCAT-1 (likely residues, Y235 and E237) and multiple receptor-envelope complexes are required to form the fusion pore.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2 is a recently emerged coronavirus that binds angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for cell entry via its receptor-binding domain (RBD) on a surface-expressed spike glycoprotein. Studies show that despite its similarities to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, there are critical differences in key RBD residues when compared to SARS-CoV-2. Here we present a short <i>in silico</i> study, showing that SARS-like bat coronavirus Rs3367 shares a high conservation with SARS-CoV-2 in important RBD residues for ACE2 binding: SARS-CoV-2's Phe486, Thr500, Asn501 and Tyr505; implicated in receptor-binding strength and host-range determination. These features were not shared with other studied bat coronaviruses belonging to the <i>betacoronavirus</i> genus, including RaTG13, the closest reported bat coronavirus to SARS-CoV-2's spike protein. Sequence and phylogeny analyses were followed by the computation of a reliable model of the RBD of SARS-like bat coronavirus Rs3367, which allowed structural insight of the conserved residues. Superimposition of this model on the SARS-CoV-2 ACE2-RBD complex revealed critical ACE2 contacts are also maintained. In addition, residue Asn488<sub>Rs3367</sub> interacted with a previously defined pocket on ACE2 composed of Tyr41, Lys353 and Asp355. When compared to available SARS-CoV-2 crystal structure data, Asn501<sub>SARS-CoV-2</sub> showed a different interaction with the ACE2 pocket. Taken together, this study offers molecular insights on RBD-receptor interactions with implications for vaccine design.
Project description:Spike glycoprotein (Sgp) is liable for binding of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to the host receptors. Since Sgp is the main target for vaccine and drug designing, elucidating its mutation pattern could help in this regard. This study is aimed at investigating the correspondence of specific residues to the Sgp<sub>SARS-CoV-2</sub> functionality by explorative interpretation of sequence alignments. Centrality analysis of the Sgp dissects the importance of these residues in the interaction network of the RBD-ACE2 (receptor-binding domain) complex and furin cleavage site. Correspondence of RBD to threonine500 and asparagine501 and furin cleavage site to glutamine675, glutamine677, threonine678, and alanine684 was observed; all residues are exactly located at the interaction interfaces. The harmonious location of residues dictates the RBD binding property and the flexibility, hydrophobicity, and accessibility of the furin cleavage site. These species-specific residues can be assumed as real targets of evolution, while other substitutions tend to support them. Moreover, all these residues are parts of experimentally identified epitopes. Therefore, their substitution may affect vaccine efficacy. Higher rate of RBD maintenance than furin cleavage site was predicted. The accumulation of substitutions reinforces the probability of the multi-host circulation of the virus and emphasizes the enduring evolutionary events.
Project description:An amino-terminal portion of the Friend murine leukemia virus (MLV) envelope surface protein [SU, residues 1 to 236 [SU:(1-236)]] and its receptor, MCAT-1, were each purified from insect cells after expression by using recombinant baculoviruses. Friend SU:(1-236) bound specifically to Xenopus oocytes that expressed MCAT-1 with an affinity (Kd, 55 nM) similar to that of viral SU binding to permissive cells. Direct binding of Friend SU:(1-236) to purified MCAT-1 was observed in detergent and after reconstitution into liposomes. Analysis of binding demonstrated that MCAT-1 and Friend SU:(1-236) interact with a stoichiometry of near 1:1. These findings demonstrate that the amino-terminal domain from the SU of ecotropic murine retroviruses contains an MCAT-1 binding domain.
Project description:The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is an enveloped, positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The spike is a class I viral fusion glycoprotein that extends from the viral surface and is responsible for viral entry into the host cell and is the primary target of neutralizing antibodies. The receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike samples multiple conformations in a compromise between evading immune recognition and searching for the host-cell surface receptor. Using atomistic simulations of the glycosylated wild-type spike in the closed and 1-up RBD conformations, we map the free energy landscape for RBD opening and identify interactions in an allosteric pocket that influence RBD dynamics. The results provide an explanation for experimental observation of increased antibody binding for a clinical variant with a substitution in this pocket. Our results also suggest the possibility of allosteric targeting of the RBD equilibrium to favor open states via binding of small molecules to the hinge pocket. In addition to potential value as experimental probes to quantify RBD conformational heterogeneity, small molecules that modulate the RBD equilibrium could help explore the relationship between RBD opening and S1 shedding.
Project description:The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is considered as a major antigen for vaccine design. We previously demonstrated that the receptor-binding domain (RBD: residues 318-510) of S protein contains multiple conformation-dependent neutralizing epitopes (Conf I to VI) and serves as a major target of SARS-CoV neutralization. Here, we further characterized the antigenic structure in the RBD by a panel of novel mAbs isolated from the mice immunized with an inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine. Ten of the RBD-specific mAbs were mapped to four distinct groups of conformational epitopes (designated Group A to D), and all of which had potent neutralizing activity against S protein-pseudotyped SARS viruses. Group A, B, C mAbs target the epitopes that may overlap with the previously characterized Conf I, III, and VI respectively, but they display different capacity to block the receptor binding. Group D mAb (S25) was directed against a unique epitope by its competitive binding. Two anti-RBD mAbs recognizing the linear epitopes (Group E) were mapped to the RBD residues 335-352 and 442-458, respectively, and none of them inhibited the receptor binding and virus entry. Surprisingly, most neutralizing epitopes (Groups A to C) could be completely disrupted by single amino acid substitutions (e.g., D429A, R441A or D454A) or by deletions of several amino acids at the N-terminal or C-terminal region of the RBD; however, the Group D epitope was not sensitive to the mutations, highlighting its importance for vaccine development. These data provide important information for understanding the antigenicity and immunogenicity of SARS-CoV, and this panel of novel mAbs can be used as tools for studying the structure of S protein and for guiding SARS vaccine design.
Project description:Infection of animal cells by many viruses is detected and countered by a variety of means, including recognition of non-self nucleic acids. The zinc-finger antiviral protein (ZAP) depletes cytoplasmic RNA that is recognized as foreign in mammalian cells by virtue of its elevated CG dinucleotide content compared to endogenous mRNAs. Here, we determined a crystal structure of a protein-RNA complex containing the N-terminal, four-zinc finger human (h) ZAP RNA binding domain (RBD), and a CG dinucleotide-containing RNA target. The structure reveals in molecular detail how hZAP is able to bind selectively to CG-rich RNA. Specifically, the four zinc fingers create a basic patch on the hZAP RBD surface. The highly basic second zinc finger contains a pocket that selectively accommodates CG dinucleotide bases. Structure guided mutagenesis, crosslinking-immunoprecipitation-sequencing assays, and RNA affinity assays show that the structurally defined CG-binding pocket is not required for RNA binding per se in human cells. However, the pocket is a crucial determinant of high affinity specific binding to CG-dinucleotide-containing RNA. Moreover, variations in the RNA binding specificity a panel of CG-binding pocket mutants quantitatively predict their selective antiviral activity against a CG-enriched HIV-1 strain. Overall, the hZAP RBD:RNA structure provides an atomic-level explanation for how ZAP selectively targets foreign, CG-rich RNA. Overall design: CLIP-seq data sets from 293T cells
Project description:The nucleocapsid (N) protein of hantavirus encapsidates viral genomic and antigenomic RNAs. Previously, deletion mapping identified a central, conserved region (amino acids 175 to 217) within the Hantaan virus (HTNV) N protein that interacts with a high affinity with these viral RNAs (vRNAs). To further define the boundaries of the RNA binding domain (RBD), several peptides were synthesized and examined for the ability to bind full-length S-segment vRNA. Peptide 195-217 retained 94% of the vRNA bound by the HTNV N protein, while peptides 175-186 and 205-217 bound only 1% of the vRNA. To further explore which residues were essential for binding vRNA, we performed a comprehensive mutational analysis of the amino acids in the RBD. Single and double Ala substitutions were constructed for 18 amino acids from amino acids 175 to 217 in the full-length N protein. In addition, Ala substitutions were made for the three R residues in peptide 185-217. An analysis of protein-RNA interactions by electrophoretic mobility shift assays implicated E192, Y206, and S217 as important for binding. Chemical modification experiments showed that lysine residues, but not arginine or cysteine residues, contribute to RNA binding, which agreed with bioinformatic predictions. Overall, these data implicate lysine residues dispersed from amino acids 175 to 429 of the protein and three amino acids located in the RBD as essential for RNA binding.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus for COVID-19 has now super-mutated into the Omicron (Om) variant. On its spike (S) glycoprotein alone, more than 30 substitutions have been characterized with 15 within the receptor binding domain (RBD); It therefore calls to question the transmissibility and antibody escapability of Omicron. This study was setup to investigate the Omicron RBD's interaction with ACE2 (host receptor) and a SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb). In-silico mutagenesis was used to generate the Om-RBD in complex with ACE2 or mAb from the wildtype. HDOCK server was used to redock and score the mAbs in Om-RBD bound state relative to the wildtype. Stability of interaction between all complexes were investigated using all-atom molecular dynamics (MD). Analyses of trajectories showed that Om-RBD has evolved into an efficient ACE2 binder, via pi-pi (Om-RBD-Y501/ACE2-Y41) and salt-bridge (Om-RBD-K493/ACE2-Y41) interactions. Conversely, in binding mAb, it has become less efficient (Center of mass distance of RBD from mAb complex, wildtype ≈ 30 Å, Omicron ≈ 41 Å). Disruption of Om-RBD/mAb complex resulted from loose interaction between Om-RBD and the light chain complementarity-determining region residues. Omicron is expected to be better transmissible and less efficiently interacting with neutralizing convalescent mAbs with consequences on transmissibility provided other mutations within the S protein similarly promote cell fusion and viral entry.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 pandemic is a RNA virus prone to mutations. Formation of a stable binding interface between the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) of host is pivotal for viral entry. RBD has been shown to mutate frequently during pandemic. Although, a few mutations in RBD exhibit enhanced transmission rates leading to rise of new variants of concern, most RBD mutations show sustained ACE2 binding and virus infectivity. Yet, how all these mutations make the binding interface constantly favourable for virus remain enigmatic. This study aims to delineate molecular rearrangements in the binding interface of SARS-CoV-2 RBD mutants.<h4>Results</h4>Here, we have generated a mutational and structural landscape of SARS-CoV-2 RBD in first six months of the pandemic. We analyzed 31,403 SARS-CoV-2 genomes randomly across the globe, and identified 444 non-synonymous mutations in RBD that cause 49 distinct amino acid substitutions in contact and non-contact amino acid residues. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggested independent emergence of RBD mutants. Structural mapping of these mutations on the SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan reference strain RBD and structural comparison with RBDs from bat-CoV, SARS-CoV, and pangolin-CoV, all bound to human or mouse ACE2, revealed several changes in the interfacial interactions in all three binding clusters. Interestingly, interactions mediated via N487 residue in cluster-I and Y449, G496, T500, G502 residues in cluster-III remained largely unchanged in all RBD mutants. Further analysis showed that these interactions are evolutionarily conserved in sarbecoviruses which use ACE2 for entry. Importantly, despite extensive changes in the interface, RBD-ACE2 stability and binding affinities were maintained in all the analyzed mutants. Taken together, these findings reveal how SARS-CoV-2 uses its RBD residues to constantly remodel the binding interface.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our study broadly signifies understanding virus-host binding interfaces and their alterations during pandemic. Our findings propose a possible interface remodelling mechanism used by SARS-CoV-2 to escape deleterious mutations. Future investigations will focus on functional validation of in-silico findings and on investigating interface remodelling mechanisms across sarbecoviruses. Thus, in long run, this study may provide novel clues to therapeutically target RBD-ACE2 interface for pan-sarbecovirus infections.
Project description:We previously identified unusual variants of Moloney and Friend ecotropic mouse gammaretroviruses that have altered host range and are cytopathic in cells of the wild mouse species Mus dunni. Cytopathicity was attributed to different amino acid substitutions at the same critical env residue involved in receptor interaction: S82F in the Moloney variant Spl574, and S84A in the Friend mouse leukemia virus F-S MLV. Because M. dunni cells carry a variant CAT-1 cell surface virus receptor (dCAT-1), we examined the role of this receptor variant in cytopathicity and host range.We expressed dCAT-1 or mCAT-1 of NIH 3T3 origin in cells that are not normally infectible with ecotropic MLVs and evaluated the transfectants for susceptibility to virus infection and to virus-induced syncytium formation. The dCAT-1 transfectants, but not the mCAT-1 transfectants, were susceptible to virus-induced cytopathicity, and this cytopathic response was accompanied by the accumulation of unintegrated viral DNA. The dCAT-1 transfectants, however, did not also reproduce the relative resistance of M. dunni cells to Moloney MLV, and the mCAT-1 transfectants did not show the relative resistance of NIH 3T3 cells to Spl574. Western analysis, use of glycosylation inhibitors and mutagenesis to remove receptor glycosylation sites identified a possible role for cell-specific glycosylation in the modulation of virus entry.Virus entry and virus-induced syncytium formation using the CAT-1 receptor are mediated by a small number of critical amino acid residues in receptor and virus Env. Virus entry is modulated by glycosylation of cellular proteins, and this effect is cell and virus-specific.