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  1. null (Ed.)
    Abstract The ability of molecular property prediction is of great significance to drug discovery, human health, and environmental protection. Despite considerable efforts, quantitative prediction of various molecular properties remains a challenge. Although some machine learning models, such as bidirectional encoder from transformer, can incorporate massive unlabeled molecular data into molecular representations via a self-supervised learning strategy, it neglects three-dimensional (3D) stereochemical information. Algebraic graph, specifically, element-specific multiscale weighted colored algebraic graph, embeds complementary 3D molecular information into graph invariants. We propose an algebraic graph-assisted bidirectional transformer (AGBT) framework by fusing representations generated by algebraic graph and bidirectional transformer, as wellmore »as a variety of machine learning algorithms, including decision trees, multitask learning, and deep neural networks. We validate the proposed AGBT framework on eight molecular datasets, involving quantitative toxicity, physical chemistry, and physiology datasets. Extensive numerical experiments have shown that AGBT is a state-of-the-art framework for molecular property prediction.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  2. Antibody therapeutics and vaccines are among our last resort to end the raging COVID-19 pandemic. They, however, are prone to over 5000 mutations on the spike (S) protein uncovered by a Mutation Tracker based on over 200 000 genome isolates. It is imperative to understand how mutations will impact vaccines and antibodies in development. In this work, we first study the mechanism, frequency, and ratio of mutations on the S protein which is the common target of most COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapies. Additionally, we build a library of 56 antibody structures and analyze their 2D and 3D characteristics. Moreover, wemore »predict the mutation-induced binding free energy (BFE) changes for the complexes of S protein and antibodies or ACE2. By integrating genetics, biophysics, deep learning, and algebraic topology, we reveal that most of the 462 mutations on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) will weaken the binding of S protein and antibodies and disrupt the efficacy and reliability of antibody therapies and vaccines. A list of 31 antibody disrupting mutants is identified, while many other disruptive mutations are detailed as well. We also unveil that about 65% of the existing RBD mutations, including those variants recently found in the United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa, will strengthen the binding between the S protein and human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), resulting in more infectious COVID-19 variants. We discover the disparity between the extreme values of RBD mutation-induced BFE strengthening and weakening of the bindings with antibodies and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 is at an advanced stage of evolution for human infection, while the human immune system is able to produce optimized antibodies. This discovery, unfortunately, implies the vulnerability of current vaccines and antibody drugs to new mutations. Our predictions were validated by comparison with more than 1400 deep mutations on the S protein RBD. Our results show the urgent need to develop new mutation-resistant vaccines and antibodies and to prepare for seasonal vaccinations.« less
  3. In the global health emergency caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), efficient and specific therapies are urgently needed. Compared with traditional small-molecular drugs, antibody therapies are relatively easy to develop; they are as specific as vaccines in targeting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); and they have thus attracted much attention in the past few months. This article reviews seven existing antibodies for neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 with 3D structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). Five 3D antibody structures associated with the SARS-CoV spike (S) protein are also evaluated for their potential in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2. The interactions of thesemore »antibodies with the S protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) are compared with those between angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and RBD complexes. Due to the orders of magnitude in the discrepancies of experimental binding affinities, we introduce topological data analysis, a variety of network models, and deep learning to analyze the binding strength and therapeutic potential of the 14 antibody–antigen complexes. The current COVID-19 antibody clinical trials, which are not limited to the S protein target, are also reviewed.« less
  4. Abstract

    SARS-CoV-2 has been mutating since it was first sequenced in early January 2020. Here, we analyze 45,494 complete SARS-CoV-2 geneome sequences in the world to understand their mutations. Among them, 12,754 sequences are from the United States. Our analysis suggests the presence of four substrains and eleven top mutations in the United States. These eleven top mutations belong to 3 disconnected groups. The first and second groups consisting of 5 and 8 concurrent mutations are prevailing, while the other group with three concurrent mutations gradually fades out. Moreover, we reveal that female immune systems are more active than thosemore »of males in responding to SARS-CoV-2 infections. One of the top mutations, 27964C > T-(S24L) on ORF8, has an unusually strong gender dependence. Based on the analysis of all mutations on the spike protein, we uncover that two of four SARS-CoV-2 substrains in the United States become potentially more infectious.

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  5. Currently, there is neither effective antiviral drugs nor vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Due to its high conservativeness and low similarity with human genes, SARS-CoV-2 main protease (M pro ) is one of the most favorable drug targets. However, the current understanding of the molecular mechanism of M pro inhibition is limited by the lack of reliable binding affinity ranking and prediction of existing structures of M pro –inhibitor complexes. This work integrates mathematics ( i.e. , algebraic topology) and deep learning (MathDL) to provide a reliable ranking of the bindingmore »affinities of 137 SARS-CoV-2 M pro inhibitor structures. We reveal that Gly143 residue in M pro is the most attractive site to form hydrogen bonds, followed by Glu166, Cys145, and His163. We also identify 71 targeted covalent bonding inhibitors. MathDL was validated on the PDBbind v2016 core set benchmark and a carefully curated SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor dataset to ensure the reliability of the present binding affinity prediction. The present binding affinity ranking, interaction analysis, and fragment decomposition offer a foundation for future drug discovery efforts.« less
  6. Recently, molecular fingerprints extracted from three-dimensional (3D) structures using advanced mathematics, such as algebraic topology, differential geometry, and graph theory have been paired with efficient machine learning, especially deep learning algorithms to outperform other methods in drug discovery applications and competitions. This raises the question of whether classical 2D fingerprints are still valuable in computer-aided drug discovery. This work considers 23 datasets associated with four typical problems, namely protein–ligand binding, toxicity, solubility and partition coefficient to assess the performance of eight 2D fingerprints. Advanced machine learning algorithms including random forest, gradient boosted decision tree, single-task deep neural network and multitaskmore »deep neural network are employed to construct efficient 2D-fingerprint based models. Additionally, appropriate consensus models are built to further enhance the performance of 2D-fingerprint-based methods. It is demonstrated that 2D-fingerprint-based models perform as well as the state-of-the-art 3D structure-based models for the predictions of toxicity, solubility, partition coefficient and protein–ligand binding affinity based on only ligand information. However, 3D structure-based models outperform 2D fingerprint-based methods in complex-based protein–ligand binding affinity predictions.« less