skip to main content

Title: SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein D614G mutation increases virion spike density and infectivity
Abstract SARS-CoV-2 variants with spike (S)-protein D614G mutations now predominate globally. We therefore compare the properties of the mutated S protein (S G614 ) with the original (S D614 ). We report here pseudoviruses carrying S G614 enter ACE2-expressing cells more efficiently than those with S D614 . This increased entry correlates with less S1-domain shedding and higher S-protein incorporation into the virion. Similar results are obtained with virus-like particles produced with SARS-CoV-2 M, N, E, and S proteins. However, D614G does not alter S-protein binding to ACE2 or neutralization sensitivity of pseudoviruses. Thus, D614G may increase infectivity by assembling more functional S protein into the virion.
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract The spike (S) glycoprotein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the binding to the permissive cells. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 S protein directly interacts with the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on the host cell membrane. In this study, we used computational saturation mutagenesis approaches, including structure-based energy calculations and sequence-based pathogenicity predictions, to quantify the systemic effects of missense mutations on SARS-CoV-2 S protein structure and function. A total of 18 354 mutations in S protein were analyzed, and we discovered that most of these mutations could destabilize the entire S protein and its RBD. Specifically, residues G431 and S514 in SARS-CoV-2 RBD are important for S protein stability. We analyzed 384 experimentally verified S missense variations and revealed that the dominant pandemic form, D614G, can stabilize the entire S protein. Moreover, many mutations in N-linked glycosylation sites can increase the stability of the S protein. In addition, we investigated 3705 mutations in SARS-CoV-2 RBD and 11 324 mutations in human ACE2 and found that SARS-CoV-2 neighbor residues G496 and F497 and ACE2 residues D355 and Y41 are critical for the RBD–ACE2 interaction. The findings comprehensively provide potential target sites in the developmentmore »of drugs and vaccines against COVID-19.« less
  2. Infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) involves the attachment of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of its spike proteins to the ACE2 receptors on the peripheral membrane of host cells. Binding is initiated by a down-to-up conformational change in the spike protein, the change that presents the RBD to the receptor. To date, computational and experimental studies that search for therapeutics have concentrated, for good reason, on the RBD. However, the RBD region is highly prone to mutations, and is therefore a hotspot for drug resistance. In contrast, we here focus on the correlations between the RBD and residues distant to it in the spike protein. This allows for a deeper understanding of the underlying molecular recognition events and prediction of the highest-effect key mutations in distant, allosteric sites, with implications for therapeutics. Also, these sites can appear in emerging mutants with possibly higher transmissibility and virulence, and preidentifying them can give clues for designing pan-coronavirus vaccines against future outbreaks. Our model, based on time-lagged independent component analysis (tICA) and protein graph connectivity network, is able to identify multiple residues that exhibit long-distance coupling with the RBD opening. Residues involved in the most ubiquitous D614G mutation and themore »A570D mutation of the highly contagious UK SARS-CoV-2 variant are predicted ab initio from our model. Conversely, broad-spectrum therapeutics like drugs and monoclonal antibodies can target these key distant-but-conserved regions of the spike protein.« less
  3. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of the coronavirus disease that began in 2019 (COVID-19), has been responsible for 1.4 million deaths worldwide as of 13 November 2020. Because at the time of writing no vaccine is yet available, a rapid diagnostic assay is very urgently needed. Herein, we present the development of anti-spike antibody attached gold nanoparticles for the rapid diagnosis of specific COVID-19 viral antigen or virus via a simple colorimetric change observation within a 5 minute time period. For rapid and highly sensitive identification, surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) was employed using 4-aminothiophenol as a reporter molecule, which is attached to the gold nanoparticle via an Au–S bond. In the presence of COVID-19 antigen or virus particles, owing to the antigen–antibody interaction, the gold nanoparticles undergo aggregation, changing color from pink to blue, which allows for the determination of the presence of antigen or virus very rapidly by the naked eye, even at concentrations of 1 nanogram (ng) per mL for COVID-19 antigen and 1000 virus particles per mL for SARS-CoV-2 spike protein pseudotyped baculovirus. Importantly, the aggregated gold nanoparticles form “hot spots” to provide very strong SERS signal enhancement from anti-spike antibody andmore »4-aminothiophenol attached gold nanoparticles via light–matter interactions. Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulation data indicate a 4-orders-of-magnitude Raman enhancement in “hot spot” positions when gold nanoparticles form aggregates. Using a portable Raman analyzer, our reported data demonstrate that our antibody and 4-aminothiophenol attached gold nanoparticle-based SERS probe has the capability to detect COVID-19 antigen even at a concentration of 4 picograms (pg) per mL and virus at a concentration of 18 virus particles per mL within a 5 minute time period. Using HEK293T cells, which express angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), by which SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells, we show that anti-spike antibody attached gold nanoparticles have the capability to inhibit infection by the virus. Our reported data show that antibody attached gold nanoparticles bind to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, thereby inhibiting the virus from binding to cell receptors, which stops virus infection and spread. It also has the capability to destroy the lipid membrane of the virus.« less
  4. Prasad, Vinayaka R. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic demonstrates the threat posed by novel coronaviruses to human health. Coronaviruses share a highly conserved cell entry mechanism mediated by the spike protein, the sole product of the S gene. The structural dynamics by which the spike protein orchestrates infection illuminate how antibodies neutralize virions and how S mutations contribute to viral fitness. Here, we review the process by which spike engages its proteinaceous receptor, angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and how host proteases prime and subsequently enable efficient membrane fusion between virions and target cells. We highlight mutations common among severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern and discuss implications for cell entry. Ultimately, we provide a model by which sarbecoviruses are activated for fusion competency and offer a framework for understanding the interplay between humoral immunity and the molecular evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike. In particular, we emphasize the relevance of the Canyon Hypothesis (M. G. Rossmann, J Biol Chem 264:14587–14590, 1989) for understanding evolutionary trajectories of viral entry proteins during sustained intraspecies transmission of a novel viral pathogen.
  5. The COVID-19 pandemic poses a severe threat to human health with unprecedented social and economic disruption. Spike (S) glycoprotein in the SARS-CoV-2 virus is pivotal in understanding the virus anatomy, since it initiates the early contact with the ACE2 receptor in the human cell. The subunit S1 in chain A of S-protein has four structural domains: the receptor binding domain (RBD), the n-terminal domain (NTD) and two subdomains (SD1, SD2). We report details of the intra- and inter-molecular binding mechanism of RBD using density functional theory, including electronic structure, interatomic bonding and partial charge distribution. We identify five strong hydrogen bonds and analyze their roles in binding. This provides a pathway to a quantum-chemical understanding of the interaction between the S-protein and the ACE2 receptor with insights into the function of conserved features in the ACE2 receptor binding domain that could inform vaccine and drug development.