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Title: Persistent Laplacian projected Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 to become new dominating variants
Award ID(s):
2052983 1900473
NSF-PAR ID:
10419488
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Computers in biology and medicine
ISSN:
0010-4825
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. 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 S protein RBD of Omicron BA.2.12.1, BA.4/BA.5, and both showed much stronger inhibition than heparin. 
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  2. null (Ed.)