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Title: Potential Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Activity of Pentosan Polysulfate and Mucopolysaccharide Polysulfate
With the increased prevalence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, such as Delta and Omicron, the COVID-19 pandemic has become an ongoing human health disaster, killing millions worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 invades its host through the interaction of its spike (S) protein with a host cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). In addition, heparan sulfate (HS) on the surface of host cells plays an important role as a co-receptor for this viral pathogen–host cell interaction. Our previous studies demonstrated that many sulfated glycans, such as heparin, fucoidans, and rhamnan sulfate have anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities. In the current study, a small library of sulfated glycans and highly negatively charged compounds, including pentosan polysulfate (PPS), mucopolysaccharide polysulfate (MPS), sulfated lactobionic acid, sulodexide, and defibrotide, was assembled and evaluated for binding to the S-proteins and inhibition of viral infectivity in vitro. These compounds inhibited the interaction of the S-protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) (wild type and different variants) with immobilized heparin, a highly sulfated HS, as determined using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). PPS and MPS showed the strongest inhibition of interaction of heparin and S-protein RBD. The competitive binding studies showed that the IC50 of PPS and MPS against the S-protein RBD binding to immobilized heparin was more » ~35 nM and ~9 nM, respectively, much lower than the IC50 for soluble heparin (IC50 = 56 nM). Both PPS and MPS showed stronger inhibition than heparin on the S-protein RBD or spike pseudotyped lentiviral particles binding to immobilized heparin. Finally, in an in vitro cell-based assay, PPS and MPS exhibited strong antiviral activities against pseudotyped viral particles of SARS-CoV-2 containing wild-type or Delta S-proteins. « less
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  1. The COVID-19 pandemic is a major human health concern. The pathogen responsible for COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), invades its host through the interaction of its spike (S) protein with a host cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). In addition to ACE2, heparan sulfate (HS) on the surface of host cells also plays a significant role as a co-receptor. Our previous studies demonstrated that sulfated glycans, such as heparin and fucoidans, show anti-COVID-19 activities. In the current study, rhamnan sulfate (RS), a polysaccharide with a rhamnose backbone from a green seaweed, Monostroma nitidum, was evaluated for binding to the S-protein from SARS-CoV-2 and inhibition of viral infectivity in vitro. The structural characteristics of RS were investigated by determining its monosaccharide composition and performing two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance. RS inhibition of the interaction of heparin, a highly sulfated HS, with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (from wild type and different mutant variants) was studied using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). In competitive binding studies, the IC50 of RS against the S-protein receptor binding domain (RBD) binding to immobilized heparin was 1.6 ng/mL, which is much lower than the IC50 for heparin (~750 ng/mL). RS showed stronger inhibition than heparin onmore »the S-protein RBD or pseudoviral particles binding to immobilized heparin. Finally, in an in vitro cell-based assay, RS showed strong antiviral activities against wild type SARS-CoV-2 and the delta variant.« less
  2. Heparan sulfate (HS) acts as a co-receptor of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) by interacting with severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike glycoprotein (SGP) facilitating host cell entry of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Heparin, a highly sulfated version of heparan sulfate (HS), interacts with a variety of proteins playing key roles in many physiological and pathological processes. In this study, SARS-CoV-2 SGP receptor binding domain (RBD) wild type (WT), Delta and Omicron variants were expressed in Expi293F cells and used in the kinetic and structural analysis on their interactions with heparin. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis showed the binding kinetics of SGP RBD from WT and Delta variants were very similar while Omicron variant SGP showed a much higher association rate. The SGP from Delta and Omicron showed higher affinity ( K D ) to heparin than the WT SGP. Competition SPR studies using heparin oligosaccharides indicated that binding of SGP RBDs to heparin requires chain length greater than 18. Chemically modified heparin derivatives all showed reduced interactions in competition assays suggesting that all the sulfo groups in the heparin polysaccharide were critical for binding SGP RBDs with heparin. These interactions with heparin are pH sensitive. Acidic pH (pH 6.5, 5.5, 4.5)more »greatly increased the binding of WT and Delta SGP RBDs to heparin, while acidic pH slightly reduced the binding of Omicron SGP RBD to heparin compared to binding at pH 7.3. In contrast, basic pH (pH 8.5) greatly reduced the binding of Omicron SGP RBDs to heparin, with much less effects on WT or Delta. The pH dependence indicates different charged residues were present at the Omicron SGP-heparin interface. Detailed kinetic and structural analysis of the interactions of SARS-CoV-2 SGP RBDs with heparin provides important information for designing anti-SARS-CoV-2 molecules.« less
  3. The now prevalent Omicron variant and its subvariants/sub-lineages have led to a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and raised serious concerns about increased risk of infectivity, immune evasion, and reinfection. Heparan sulfate (HS), located on the surface of host cells, plays an important role as a co-receptor for virus–host cell interaction. The ability of heparin and HS to compete for binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein to cell surface HS illustrates the therapeutic potential of agents targeting protein–glycan interactions. In the current study, phylogenetic tree of variants and mutations in S protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) of Omicron BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 were described. The binding affinity of Omicron S protein RBD to heparin was further investigated by surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Solution competition studies on the inhibitory activity of heparin oligosaccharides and desulfated heparins at different sites on S protein RBD–heparin interactions revealed that different sub-lineages tend to bind heparin with different chain lengths and sulfation patterns. Furthermore, blind docking experiments showed the contribution of basic amino acid residues in RBD and sulfo groups and carboxyl groups on heparin to the interaction. Finally, pentosan polysulfate and mucopolysaccharide polysulfate were evaluated for inhibition on the interaction of heparin and Smore »protein RBD of Omicron BA.2.12.1, BA.4/BA.5, and both showed much stronger inhibition than heparin.« less
  4. Abstract

    The glycosylation on the spike (S) protein of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, modulates the viral infection by altering conformational dynamics, receptor interaction and host immune responses. Several variants of concern (VOCs) of SARS-CoV-2 have evolved during the pandemic, and crucial mutations on the S protein of the virus have led to increased transmissibility and immune escape. In this study, we compare the site-specific glycosylation and overall glycomic profiles of the wild type Wuhan-Hu-1 strain (WT) S protein and five VOCs of SARS-CoV-2: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron. Interestingly, both N- and O-glycosylation sites on the S protein are highly conserved among the spike mutant variants, particularly at the sites on the receptor-binding domain (RBD). The conservation of glycosylation sites is noteworthy, as over 2 million SARS-CoV-2 S protein sequences have been reported with various amino acid mutations. Our detailed profiling of the glycosylation at each of the individual sites of the S protein across the variants revealed intriguing possible association of glycosylation pattern on the variants and their previously reported infectivity. While the sites are conserved, we observed changes in the N- and O-glycosylation profile across the variants. Themore »newly emerged variants, which showed higher resistance to neutralizing antibodies and vaccines, displayed a decrease in the overall abundance of complex-type glycans with both fucosylation and sialylation and an increase in the oligomannose-type glycans across the sites. Among the variants, the glycosylation sites with significant changes in glycan profile were observed at both theN-terminal domain and RBD of S protein, with Omicron showing the highest deviation. The increase in oligomannose-type happens sequentially from Alpha through Delta. Interestingly, Omicron does not contain more oligomannose-type glycans compared to Delta but does contain more compared to the WT and other VOCs. O-glycosylation at the RBD showed lower occupancy in the VOCs in comparison to the WT. Our study on the sites and pattern of glycosylation on the SARS-CoV-2 S proteins across the VOCs may help to understand how the virus evolved to trick the host immune system. Our study also highlights how the SARS-CoV-2 virus has conserved bothN- andO- glycosylation sites on the S protein of the most successful variants even after undergoing extensive mutations, suggesting a correlation between infectivity/ transmissibility and glycosylation.

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  5. Abstract Fucosylated chondroitin sulfate (FucCS) is a unique marine glycosaminoglycan that exhibits diverse biological functions, including antiviral and anticoagulant activity. In previous work, the FucCS derived from Pentacta pygmaea (PpFucCS) showed moderate anticoagulant effect but high inhibitory activity against the Wuhan strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). In this study, we perform free-radical depolymerization of PpFucCS by the copper-based Fenton method to generate low molecular weight (MW) oligosaccharides. PpFucCS oligosaccharides were structurally analyzed by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and were used to conduct structure–activity relationship studies regarding their effects against SARS-CoV-2 and clotting. Anticoagulant properties were measured by activated partial thromboplastin time, protease (factors Xa and IIa) inhibition by serine protease inhibitors (antithrombin [AT] and heparin cofactor II [HCII]), and competitive surface plasmon resonance (SPR) assay using AT, HCII, and IIa. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 properties were measured by the concentration-response inhibitory curves of HEK-293T-human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 cells infected with a baculovirus pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant spike (S)-protein and competitive SPR assays using multiple S-proteins (Wuhan, N501Y [Alpha], K417T/E484K/N501Y [Gamma], L542R [Delta], and Omicron [BA.2 subvariant]). Cytotoxicity of native PpFucCS and oligosaccharides was also assessed. The PpFucCS-derived oligosaccharide fraction of the highest MW showed great anti-SARS-CoV-2 Delta activity and reducedmore »anticoagulant properties. Results have indicated no cytotoxicity and MW dependency on both anti-SARS-CoV-2 and anticoagulant effects of PpFucCS, as both actions were reduced accordingly to the MW decrease of PpFucCS. Our results demonstrate that the high-MW structures of PpFucCS is a key structural element to achieve the maximal anti-SARS-CoV-2 and anticoagulant effects.« less