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    Spike protein mutations and structural insights of pangolin lineage B.1.1.25 with implications for viral pathogenicity and ACE2 binding affinity

    Akter, S. and Oliveira, J.Iv.N. and Barton, Carl and Sarkar, M.H. and Shahab, M. and Banu, T.A. and Goswami, B. and Osman, E. and Uzzaman, M.S. and Nafisa, T. and Molla, M.A. and Yeasmin, M. and Farzana, M. and Habib, A. and Shaikh, A.A. and Khan, S. (2023) Spike protein mutations and structural insights of pangolin lineage B.1.1.25 with implications for viral pathogenicity and ACE2 binding affinity. Scientific Reports 13 (1), ISSN 2045-2322.

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    Abstract

    Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID -19, is constantly evolving, requiring continuous genomic surveillance. In this study, we used whole-genome sequencing to investigate the genetic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Bangladesh, with particular emphasis on identifying dominant variants and associated mutations. We used high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) to obtain DNA sequences from COVID-19 patient samples and compared these sequences to the Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 reference genome using the Global Initiative for Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID). Our phylogenetic and mutational analyzes revealed that the majority (88%) of the samples belonged to the pangolin lineage B.1.1.25, whereas the remaining 11% were assigned to the parental lineage B.1.1. Two main mutations, D614G and P681R, were identified in the spike protein sequences of the samples. The D614G mutation, which is the most common, decreases S1 domain flexibility, whereas the P681R mutation may increase the severity of viral infections by increasing the binding affinity between the spike protein and the ACE2 receptor. We employed molecular modeling techniques, including protein modeling, molecular docking, and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) geometry optimization, to build and validate three-dimensional models of the S_D614G-ACE2 and S_P681R-ACE2 complexes from the predominant strains. The description of the binding mode and intermolecular contacts of the referenced systems suggests that the P681R mutation may be associated with increased viral pathogenicity in Bangladeshi patients due to enhanced electrostatic interactions between the mutant spike protein and the human ACE2 receptor, underscoring the importance of continuous genomic surveillance in the fight against COVID -19. Finally, the binding profile of the S_D614G-ACE2 and S_P681R-ACE2 complexes offer valuable insights to deeply understand the binding site characteristics that could help to develop antiviral therapeutics that inhibit protein–protein interactions between SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and human ACE2 receptor.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
    Depositing User: Carl Barton
    Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2023 12:47
    Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 15:36
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/51852

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