The recent emergence of the pathogen severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is causing a global pandemic that poses enormous challenges to global public health and economies. SARS-CoV-2 host cell entry is mediated by the interaction of the viral transmembrane spike glycoprotein (S-protein) with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 gene (ACE2), an essential counter-regulatory carboxypeptidase of the renin-angiotensin hormone system that is a critical regulator of blood volume, systemic vascular resistance, and thus cardiovascular homeostasis. Accordingly, this work reports an atomistic-based, reliable in silico structural and energetic framework of the interactions between the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein and its host cellular receptor ACE2 that provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the main molecular determinants in virus/receptor recognition. In particular, residues D38, K31, E37, K353, and Y41 on ACE2 and Q498, T500, and R403 on the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein receptor-binding domain are determined as true hot spots, contributing to shaping and determining the stability of the relevant protein-protein interface. Overall, these results could be used to estimate the binding affinity of the viral protein to different allelic variants of ACE2 receptors discovered in COVID-19 patients and for the effective structure-based design and development of neutralizing antibodies, vaccines, and protein/protein inhibitors against this terrible new coronavirus.

Computational Alanine Scanning and Structural Analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein/Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 Complex

Laurini E.;Marson D.;Aulic S.;Fermeglia M.;Pricl S.
2020

Abstract

The recent emergence of the pathogen severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is causing a global pandemic that poses enormous challenges to global public health and economies. SARS-CoV-2 host cell entry is mediated by the interaction of the viral transmembrane spike glycoprotein (S-protein) with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 gene (ACE2), an essential counter-regulatory carboxypeptidase of the renin-angiotensin hormone system that is a critical regulator of blood volume, systemic vascular resistance, and thus cardiovascular homeostasis. Accordingly, this work reports an atomistic-based, reliable in silico structural and energetic framework of the interactions between the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein and its host cellular receptor ACE2 that provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the main molecular determinants in virus/receptor recognition. In particular, residues D38, K31, E37, K353, and Y41 on ACE2 and Q498, T500, and R403 on the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein receptor-binding domain are determined as true hot spots, contributing to shaping and determining the stability of the relevant protein-protein interface. Overall, these results could be used to estimate the binding affinity of the viral protein to different allelic variants of ACE2 receptors discovered in COVID-19 patients and for the effective structure-based design and development of neutralizing antibodies, vaccines, and protein/protein inhibitors against this terrible new coronavirus.
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Descrizione: This article is made available via the ACS COVID-19 subset for unrestricted RESEARCH re-useand analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source.These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO)declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2975284
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