Role of ATP in the RNA Translocation Mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 NSP13 Helicase.
ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need to develop potent and transferable therapeutics to treat coronavirus infections. Numerous antiviral targets are being investigated, but nonstructural protein 13 (nsp13) stands out as a highly conserved and yet understudied target. Nsp13 is a superfamily 1 (SF1) helicase that translocates along and unwinds viral RNA in an ATP-dependent manner. Currently, there are no available structures of nsp13 from SARS-CoV-1 or SARS-CoV-2 with either ATP or RNA bound, which presents a significant hurdle to the rational design of therapeutics. To address this knowledge gap, we have built models of SARS-CoV-2 nsp13 in Apo, ATP, ssRNA and ssRNA+ATP substrate states. Using 30 μs of a Gaussian-accelerated molecular dynamics simulation (at least 6 μs per substrate state), these models were confirmed to maintain substrate binding poses that are similar to other SF1 helicases. A Gaussian mixture model and linear discriminant analysis structural clustering protocol was used to identify key structural states of the ATP-dependent RNA translocation mechanism. Namely, four RNA-nsp13 structures are identified that exhibit ATP-dependent populations and support the inchworm mechanism for translocation. These four states are characterized by different RNA-binding poses for motifs Ia, IV, and V and suggest a power stroke-like motion of domain 2A relative to domain 1A. This structural and mechanistic insight of nsp13 RNA translocation presents novel targets for the further development of antivirals.
Project description:The RNA helicase (non-structural protein 13, NSP13) of SARS-CoV-2 is essential for viral replication, and it is highly conserved among the coronaviridae family, thus a prominent drug target to treat COVID-19. We present here structural models and dynamics of the helicase in complex with its native substrates based on thorough analysis of homologous sequences and existing experimental structures. We performed and analysed microseconds of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and our model provides valuable insights to the binding of the ATP and ssRNA at the atomic level. We identify the principal motions characterising the enzyme and highlight the effect of the natural substrates on this dynamics. Furthermore, allosteric binding sites are suggested by our pocket analysis. Our obtained structural and dynamical insights are important for subsequent studies of the catalytic function and for the development of specific inhibitors at our characterised binding pockets for this promising COVID-19 drug target. The RNA helicase (non-structural protein 13, NSP13) of SARS-CoV-2 is essential for viral replication, and it is highly conserved among the coronaviridae family, thus a prominent drug target to treat COVID-19.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), a newly identified group 2 coronavirus, is the causative agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome, a life-threatening form of pneumonia in humans. Coronavirus replication and transcription are highly specialized processes of cytoplasmic RNA synthesis that localize to virus-induced membrane structures and were recently proposed to involve a complex enzymatic machinery that, besides RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, helicase, and protease activities, also involves a series of RNA-processing enzymes that are not found in most other RNA virus families. Here, we characterized the enzymatic activities of a recombinant form of the SARS-CoV helicase (nonstructural protein [nsp] 13), a superfamily 1 helicase with an N-terminal zinc-binding domain. We report that nsp13 has both RNA and DNA duplex-unwinding activities. SARS-CoV nsp13 unwinds its substrates in a 5'-to-3' direction and features a remarkable processivity, allowing efficient strand separation of extended regions of double-stranded RNA and DNA. Characterization of the nsp13-associated (deoxy)nucleoside triphosphatase ([dNTPase) activities revealed that all natural nucleotides and deoxynucleotides are substrates of nsp13, with ATP, dATP, and GTP being hydrolyzed slightly more efficiently than other nucleotides. Furthermore, we established an RNA 5'-triphosphatase activity for the SARS-CoV nsp13 helicase which may be involved in the formation of the 5' cap structure of viral RNAs. The data suggest that the (d)NTPase and RNA 5'-triphosphatase activities of nsp13 have a common active site. Finally, we established that, in SARS-CoV-infected Vero E6 cells, nsp13 localizes to membranes that appear to be derived from the endoplasmic reticulum and are the likely site of SARS-CoV RNA synthesis.
Project description:The SARS-CoV-2 helicase Nsp13 is a promising target for developing anti-COVID drugs. In the present study, we have identified potential natural product inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp13 targeting the ATP-binding site using molecular docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. MD simulation of the prepared crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp13 was performed to generate an ensemble of structures of helicase Nsp13 capturing the conformational diversity of the ATP-binding site. A natural product library of more than 14,000 phytochemicals from Indian medicinal plants was used to perform virtual screening against the ensemble of Nsp13 structures. Subsequently, a two-stage filter, first based on protein-ligand docking binding energy value and second based on protein residues in the ligand-binding site and non-covalent interactions between the protein residues and the ligand in the best-docked pose, was used to identify 368 phytochemicals as potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 helicase Nsp13. MD simulations of the top inhibitors complexed with protein were performed to confirm stable binding, and to compute MM-PBSA based binding energy. From among the 368 potential phytochemical inhibitors, the top identified potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 helicase Nsp13 namely, Picrasidine M, (+)-Epiexcelsin, Isorhoeadine, Euphorbetin and Picrasidine N, can be taken up initially for experimental studies.
Project description:To date, an effective therapeutic treatment that confers strong attenuation toward coronaviruses (CoVs) remains elusive. Of all the potential drug targets, the helicase of CoVs is considered to be one of the most important. Here, we first present the structure of the full-length Nsp13 helicase of SARS-CoV (SARS-Nsp13) and investigate the structural coordination of its five domains and how these contribute to its translocation and unwinding activity. A translocation model is proposed for the Upf1-like helicase members according to three different structural conditions in solution characterized through H/D exchange assay, including substrate state (SARS-Nsp13-dsDNA bound with AMPPNP), transition state (bound with ADP-AlF4-) and product state (bound with ADP). We observed that the β19-β20 loop on the 1A domain is involved in unwinding process directly. Furthermore, we have shown that the RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), SARS-Nsp12, can enhance the helicase activity of SARS-Nsp13 through interacting with it directly. The interacting regions were identified and can be considered common across CoVs, which provides new insights into the Replication and Transcription Complex (RTC) of CoVs.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a devastating global pandemic, infecting over 43 million people and claiming over 1 million lives, with these numbers increasing daily. Therefore, there is urgent need to understand the molecular mechanisms governing SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, immune evasion, and disease progression. Here, we show that SARS-CoV-2 can block IRF3 and NF-κB activation early during virus infection. We also identify that the SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins NSP1 and NSP13 can block interferon activation via distinct mechanisms. NSP1 antagonizes interferon signaling by suppressing host mRNA translation, while NSP13 downregulates interferon and NF-κB promoter signaling by limiting TBK1 and IRF3 activation, as phospho-TBK1 and phospho-IRF3 protein levels are reduced with increasing levels of NSP13 protein expression. NSP13 can also reduce NF-κB activation by both limiting NF-κB phosphorylation and nuclear translocation. Last, we also show that NSP13 binds to TBK1 and downregulates IFIT1 protein expression. Collectively, these data illustrate that SARS-CoV-2 bypasses multiple innate immune activation pathways through distinct mechanisms.
Project description:The non—structural protein 13 (nsp13) of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS—CoV) is a helicase that separates double—stranded RNA or DNA with a 5'—3' polarity, using the energy of nucleotide hydrolysis. We have previously determined the minimal mechanism of helicase function by nsp13 where we demonstrated that the enzyme unwinds nucleic acid in discrete steps of 9.3 base—pairs each with a catalytic rate of 30 steps per second. In that study we used different constructs of nsp13 (GST and H6 constructs). GST—nsp13 showed much more efficient nucleic acid unwinding than the H6—tagged counterpart. At 0.1 second, more than 50% of the ATP is hydrolyzed by GST—nsp13 compared to less than 5% ATP hydrolysis by H6—nsp13. Interestingly, the two constructs have the same binding affinity for nucleic acids. We, therefore propose that the difference in the catalytic efficiency of these two constructs is due to the interference of ATP binding by the histidine tag at the amino—terminus of nsp13.
Project description:The ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global public health emergency. SARS-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative pathogen of COVID-19, is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the family Coronaviridae. For RNA viruses, virus-encoded RNA helicases have long been recognized to play pivotal roles during viral life cycles by facilitating the correct folding and replication of viral RNAs. Here, our studies show that SARS-CoV-2-encoded nonstructural protein 13 (nsp13) possesses the nucleoside triphosphate hydrolase (NTPase) and RNA helicase activities that can hydrolyze all types of NTPs and unwind RNA helices dependently of the presence of NTP, and further characterize the biochemical characteristics of these two enzymatic activities associated with SARS-CoV-2 nsp13. Moreover, we found that some bismuth salts could effectively inhibit both the NTPase and RNA helicase activities of SARS-CoV-2 nsp13 in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, our findings demonstrate the NTPase and helicase activities of SARS-CoV-2 nsp13, which may play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 replication and serve as a target for antivirals.
Project description:There is currently a lack of effective drugs to treat people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 Non-structural protein 13 (NSP13) has been identified as a target for anti-virals due to its high sequence conservation and essential role in viral replication. Structural analysis reveals two "druggable" pockets on NSP13 that are among the most conserved sites in the entire SARS-CoV-2 proteome. Here we present crystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 NSP13 solved in the APO form and in the presence of both phosphate and a non-hydrolysable ATP analog. Comparisons of these structures reveal details of conformational changes that provide insights into the helicase mechanism and possible modes of inhibition. To identify starting points for drug development we have performed a crystallographic fragment screen against NSP13. The screen reveals 65 fragment hits across 52 datasets opening the way to structure guided development of novel antiviral agents.
Project description:The non-structural protein 13 (nsp13) of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is a helicase that separates double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) or DNA (dsDNA) with a 5' → 3' polarity, using the energy of nucleotide hydrolysis. We determined the minimal mechanism of helicase function by nsp13. We showed a clear unwinding lag with increasing length of the double-stranded region of the nucleic acid, suggesting the presence of intermediates in the unwinding process. To elucidate the nature of the intermediates we carried out transient kinetic analysis of the nsp13 helicase activity. We demonstrated that the enzyme unwinds nucleic acid in discrete steps of 9.3 base-pairs (bp) each, with a catalytic rate of 30 steps per second. Therefore the net unwinding rate is ~280 base-pairs per second. We also showed that nsp12, the SARS-CoV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), enhances (2-fold) the catalytic efficiency of nsp13 by increasing the step size of nucleic acid (RNA/RNA or DNA/DNA) unwinding. This effect is specific for SARS-CoV nsp12, as no change in nsp13 activity was observed when foot-and-mouth-disease virus RdRp was used in place of nsp12. Our data provide experimental evidence that nsp13 and nsp12 can function in a concerted manner to improve the efficiency of viral replication and enhance our understanding of nsp13 function during SARS-CoV RNA synthesis.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the 2019-2020 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 genome is replicated-transcribed by the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase holoenzyme (subunits nsp7/nsp82/nsp12) along with a cast of accessory factors. One of these factors is the nsp13 helicase. Both the holo-RdRp and nsp13 are essential for viral replication and are targets for treating the disease COVID-19. Here we present cryo-electron microscopic structures of the SARS-CoV-2 holo-RdRp with an RNA template-product in complex with two molecules of the nsp13 helicase. The Nidovirus-order-specific N-terminal domains of each nsp13 interact with the N-terminal extension of each copy of nsp8. One nsp13 also contacts the nsp12-thumb. The structure places the nucleic acid-binding ATPase domains of the helicase directly in front of the replicating-transcribing holo-RdRp, constraining models for nsp13 function. We also observe ADP-Mg2+ bound in the nsp12 N-terminal nidovirus RdRp-associated nucleotidyltransferase domain, detailing a new pocket for anti-viral therapeutic development.