Screening of inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and their capability to block the viral entry mechanism: A Viroinformatics study.
ABSTRACT: SARS-CoV-2, previously named 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), has been associated with the global pandemic of acute respiratory distress syndrome. First reported in December 2019 in the Wuhan province of China, this new RNA virus has several folds higher transmission among humans than its other family member (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV). The SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) is the region mediating the binding of the virus to host cells via Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a critical step of viral. Here in this study, we have utilized in silico approach for the virtual screening of antiviral library extracted from the Asinex database against the Receptor binding domain (RBD) of the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. Further, the molecules were ranked based on their binding affinity against RBD, and the top 15 molecules were selected. The affinity of these selected molecules to interrupt the ACE2-Spike interaction was also studied. It was found that the chosen molecules were demonstrating excellent binding affinity against spike protein, and these molecules were also very effectively interrupting the ACE2-RBD interaction. Furthermore, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation studies were utilized to investigate the top 3 selected molecules' stability in the ACE2-RBD complexes. This is the first study where molecules' inhibitory potential against the Receptor binding domain (RBD) of the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and their inhibitory potential against the ACE2-Spike has been studied. We believe that these compounds can be further tested as a potential therapeutic option against COVID-19.
Project description:The outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed a serious threat to global public health, calling for the development of safe and effective prophylactics and therapeutics against infection of its causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The CoV spike (S) protein plays the most important roles in viral attachment, fusion and entry, and serves as a target for development of antibodies, entry inhibitors and vaccines. Here, we identified the receptor-binding domain (RBD) in SARS-CoV-2 S protein and found that the RBD protein bound strongly to human and bat angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors. SARS-CoV-2 RBD exhibited significantly higher binding affinity to ACE2 receptor than SARS-CoV RBD and could block the binding and, hence, attachment of SARS-CoV-2 RBD and SARS-CoV RBD to ACE2-expressing cells, thus inhibiting their infection to host cells. SARS-CoV RBD-specific antibodies could cross-react with SARS-CoV-2 RBD protein, and SARS-CoV RBD-induced antisera could cross-neutralize SARS-CoV-2, suggesting the potential to develop SARS-CoV RBD-based vaccines for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infection.
Project description:A recent experimental study found that the binding affinity between the cellular receptor human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the spike (S) protein of novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is more than tenfold higher than that of the original severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). However, main chain structures of the SARS-CoV-2 RBD are almost the same with that of the SARS-CoV RBD. Understanding the physical mechanism responsible for the outstanding affinity between the SARS-CoV-2 S and ACE2 is an "urgent challenge" for developing blockers, vaccines, and therapeutic antibodies against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Taking into account the mechanisms of hydrophobic interaction, hydration shell, surface tension, and the shielding effect of water molecules, this study reveals a hydrophobic-interaction-based mechanism by means of which SARS-CoV-2 S and ACE2 bind together in an aqueous environment. The hydrophobic interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 S and ACE2 protein is found to be significantly greater than that between SARS-CoV S and ACE2. At the docking site, the hydrophobic portions of the hydrophilic side chains of SARS-CoV-2 S are found to be involved in the hydrophobic interaction between SARS-CoV-2 S and ACE2.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The receptor binding domain (RBD) of spike protein S1 domain SARS-CoV-2 plays a key role in the interaction with ACE2, which leads to subsequent S2 domain mediated membrane fusion and incorporation of viral RNA into host cells. In this study we tend to repurpose already approved drugs as inhibitors of the interaction between S1-RBD and the ACE2 receptor. METHODS:2456 approved drugs were screened against the RBD of S1 protein of SARS-CoV-2 (target PDB ID: 6M17). As the interacting surface between S1-RBD and ACE2 comprises of bigger region, the interacting surface was divided into 3 sites on the basis of interactions (site 1, 2 and 3) and a total of 5 grids were generated (site 1, site 2, site 3, site 1+site 2 and site 2+site 3). A virtual screening was performed using GLIDE implementing HTVS, SP and XP screening. The top hits (on the basis of docking score) were further screened for MM-GBSA. All the top hits were further evaluated in molecular dynamics studies. Performance of the virtual screening protocol was evaluated using enrichment studies. RESULT:and discussion: We performed 5 virtual screening against 5 grids generated. A total of 42 compounds were identified after virtual screening. These drugs were further assessed for their interaction dynamics in molecular dynamics simulation. On the basis of molecular dynamics studies, we come up with 10 molecules with favourable interaction profile, which also interacted with physiologically important residues (residues taking part in the interaction between S1-RBD and ACE2. These are antidiabetic (acarbose), vitamins (riboflavin and levomefolic acid), anti-platelet agents (cangrelor), aminoglycoside antibiotics (Kanamycin, amikacin) bronchodilator (fenoterol), immunomodulator (lamivudine), and anti-neoplastic agents (mitoxantrone and vidarabine). However, while considering the relative side chain fluctuations when compared to the S1-RBD: ACE2 complex riboflavin, fenoterol, cangrelor and vidarabine emerged out as molecules with prolonged relative stability. CONCLUSION:We identified 4 already approved drugs (riboflavin, fenoterol, cangrelor and vidarabine) as possible agents for repurposing as inhibitors of S1:ACE2 interaction. In-vitro validation of these findings are necessary for identification of a safe and effective inhibitor of S1: ACE2 mediated entry of SARS-CoV-2 into the host cell.
Project description:The newly identified 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has caused more than 11,900 laboratory-confirmed human infections, including 259 deaths, posing a serious threat to human health. Currently, however, there is no specific antiviral treatment or vaccine. Considering the relatively high identity of receptor-binding domain (RBD) in 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV, it is urgent to assess the cross-reactivity of anti-SARS CoV antibodies with 2019-nCoV spike protein, which could have important implications for rapid development of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies against 2019-nCoV. Here, we report for the first time that a SARS-CoV-specific human monoclonal antibody, CR3022, could bind potently with 2019-nCoV RBD (KD of 6.3 nM). The epitope of CR3022 does not overlap with the ACE2 binding site within 2019-nCoV RBD. These results suggest that CR3022 may have the potential to be developed as candidate therapeutics, alone or in combination with other neutralizing antibodies, for the prevention and treatment of 2019-nCoV infections. Interestingly, some of the most potent SARS-CoV-specific neutralizing antibodies (e.g. m396, CR3014) that target the ACE2 binding site of SARS-CoV failed to bind 2019-nCoV spike protein, implying that the difference in the RBD of SARS-CoV and 2019-nCoV has a critical impact for the cross-reactivity of neutralizing antibodies, and that it is still necessary to develop novel monoclonal antibodies that could bind specifically to 2019-nCoV RBD.
Project description:The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (CoV), a type I transmembrane envelope glycoprotein, consists of S1 and S2 domains responsible for virus binding and fusion, respectively. The S1 contains a receptor-binding domain (RBD) that can specifically bind to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptor on target cells. Here we show that a recombinant fusion protein (designated RBD-Fc) containing 193-amino acid RBD (residues 318-510) and a human IgG1 Fc fragment can induce highly potent antibody responses in the immunized rabbits. The antibodies recognized RBD on S1 domain and completely inhibited SARS-CoV infection at a serum dilution of 1:10,240. Rabbit antisera effectively blocked binding of S1, which contains RBD, to ACE2. This suggests that RBD can induce highly potent neutralizing antibody responses and has potential to be developed as an effective and safe subunit vaccine for prevention of SARS.
Project description:The recent emergence of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in China has caused significant public health concerns. Recently, ACE2 was reported as an entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we present the crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2-CTD) spike (S) protein in complex with human ACE2 (hACE2), which reveals a hACE2-binding mode similar overall to that observed for SARS-CoV. However, atomic details at the binding interface demonstrate that key residue substitutions in SARS-CoV-2-CTD slightly strengthen the interaction and lead to higher affinity for receptor binding than SARS-RBD. Additionally, a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and polyclonal antibodies (pAbs) against SARS-CoV-S1/receptor-binding domain (RBD) were unable to interact with the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, indicating notable differences in antigenicity between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. These findings shed light on the viral pathogenesis and provide important structural information regarding development of therapeutic countermeasures against the emerging virus.
Project description:Purpose:SARS-CoV-2 is a SARS-like novel coronavirus strain first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The virus has since spread globally, resulting in the current ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is a critical factor in the COVID-19 pathogenesis via interactions with the host cell angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) PD domain. Worldwide, numerous efforts are being made to combat COVID19. In the current study, we identified potential peptidomimetics against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Methods:We utilized the information from ACE2-SARS-CoV-2 binary interactions, and based on crucial interacting interface residues, novel peptidomimetics were designed. Results:Top scoring peptidomimetics were found to bind at the ACE2 binding site of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Conclusions:The current studies could pave the way for further investigations of these novel and potent compounds against the SARS-CoV-2.
Project description:The 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic, which was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. Genetically, SARS-CoV-2 is closely related to SARS-CoV, which caused a global epidemic with 8096 confirmed cases in more than 25 countries from 2002 to 2003. Given the significant morbidity and mortality rate, the current pandemic poses a danger to all of humanity, prompting us to understand the activity of SARS-CoV-2 at the atomic level. Experimental studies have revealed that spike proteins of both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV bind to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) before entering the cell for replication. However, the binding affinities reported by different groups seem to contradict each other. Wrapp et al. (Science 2020, 367, 1260-1263) showed that the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 binds to the ACE2 peptidase domain (ACE2-PD) more strongly than does SARS-CoV, and this fact may be associated with a greater severity of the new virus. However, Walls et al. (Cell 2020, 181, 281-292) reported that SARS-CoV-2 exhibits a higher binding affinity, but the difference between the two variants is relatively small. To understand the binding mechnism and experimental results, we investigated how the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV (SARS-CoV-RBD) and SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2-RBD) interacts with a human ACE2-PD using molecular modeling. We applied a coarse-grained model to calculate the dissociation constant and found that SARS-CoV-2 displays a 2-fold higher binding affinity. Using steered all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, we demonstrate that, like a coarse-grained simulation, SARS-CoV-2-RBD was associated with ACE2-PD more strongly than was SARS-CoV-RBD, as evidenced by a higher rupture force and larger pulling work. We show that the binding affinity of both viruses to ACE2 is driven by electrostatic interactions.
Project description:Recently, a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has emerged from Wuhan, China, causing symptoms in humans similar to those caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Since the SARS-CoV outbreak in 2002, extensive structural analyses have revealed key atomic-level interactions between the SARS-CoV spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) and its host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which regulate both the cross-species and human-to-human transmissions of SARS-CoV. Here, we analyzed the potential receptor usage by 2019-nCoV, based on the rich knowledge about SARS-CoV and the newly released sequence of 2019-nCoV. First, the sequence of 2019-nCoV RBD, including its receptor-binding motif (RBM) that directly contacts ACE2, is similar to that of SARS-CoV, strongly suggesting that 2019-nCoV uses ACE2 as its receptor. Second, several critical residues in 2019-nCoV RBM (particularly Gln493) provide favorable interactions with human ACE2, consistent with 2019-nCoV's capacity for human cell infection. Third, several other critical residues in 2019-nCoV RBM (particularly Asn501) are compatible with, but not ideal for, binding human ACE2, suggesting that 2019-nCoV has acquired some capacity for human-to-human transmission. Last, while phylogenetic analysis indicates a bat origin of 2019-nCoV, 2019-nCoV also potentially recognizes ACE2 from a diversity of animal species (except mice and rats), implicating these animal species as possible intermediate hosts or animal models for 2019-nCoV infections. These analyses provide insights into the receptor usage, cell entry, host cell infectivity and animal origin of 2019-nCoV and may help epidemic surveillance and preventive measures against 2019-nCoV.IMPORTANCE The recent emergence of Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) puts the world on alert. 2019-nCoV is reminiscent of the SARS-CoV outbreak in 2002 to 2003. Our decade-long structural studies on the receptor recognition by SARS-CoV have identified key interactions between SARS-CoV spike protein and its host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which regulate both the cross-species and human-to-human transmissions of SARS-CoV. One of the goals of SARS-CoV research was to build an atomic-level iterative framework of virus-receptor interactions to facilitate epidemic surveillance, predict species-specific receptor usage, and identify potential animal hosts and animal models of viruses. Based on the sequence of 2019-nCoV spike protein, we apply this predictive framework to provide novel insights into the receptor usage and likely host range of 2019-nCoV. This study provides a robust test of this reiterative framework, providing the basic, translational, and public health research communities with predictive insights that may help study and battle this novel 2019-nCoV.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2 enters host cells through an interaction between the spike glycoprotein and the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Directly preventing this interaction presents an attractive possibility for suppressing SARS-CoV-2 replication. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of an alpaca-derived single domain antibody fragment, Ty1, that specifically targets the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike, directly preventing ACE2 engagement. Ty1 binds the RBD with high affinity, occluding ACE2. A cryo-electron microscopy structure of the bound complex at 2.9?Å resolution reveals that Ty1 binds to an epitope on the RBD accessible in both the 'up' and 'down' conformations, sterically hindering RBD-ACE2 binding. While fusion to an Fc domain renders Ty1 extremely potent, Ty1 neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudovirus as a 12.8?kDa nanobody, which can be expressed in high quantities in bacteria, presenting opportunities for manufacturing at scale. Ty1 is therefore an excellent candidate as an intervention against COVID-19.