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Immunoinformatic analysis of structural and epitope variations in the spike and Orf8 proteins of SARS-CoV-2/B.1.1.7.


ABSTRACT: A newly emerged strain of SARS-CoV-2 of B.1.1.7 lineage has caused a significant surge in the SARS-CoV-2 infections in the UK. In this study, changes in the epitopes of spike and orf8 proteins in SARS-CoV-2 of B.1.1.7 lineage were investigated. Genomic alignment of the SARS-CoV-2/B.1.1.7 with SARS-CoV-2/Wuhan showed the presence of several mutations in orf1a/b, spike, orf8, and N proteins of SARS-CoV-2/B.1.1.7. Molecular models of spike and orf8 proteins were constructed by homology modeling. Superimposition between the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2/Wuhan and SARS-CoV-2/B.1.1.7 showed noticeable variations in the spatial orientation in Val70-Asn74 and Thr250-Ser255 regions. This may have also resulted in the extension of the epitopic region at Ser244-Gly249 in the SARS-CoV-2/B.1.1.7 spike protein. Superimposition of the SARS-CoV-2/B.1.1.7 spike protein over Fab-spike protein complexes of SARS-CoV-2/Wuhan also showed subtle variations in the antibody binding affinity targeting the N-terminal domain of the spike protein. Epitopic variations were also observed between the corresponding orf8 regions of SARS-CoV-2/Wuhan and SARS-CoV-2/B.1.1.7. Moreover, the presence of a stop codon at position 27 in orf8 connotes the emergence of two frames (orf8a and orf8b) in SARS-CoV-2, which further hampers its extracellular secretion, and in turn, immunogenicity. The findings of the present study could further be used to develop targeted immunotherapeutics.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8206967 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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