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    Designing a new multi epitope-based vaccine against COVID-19 MESHD disease: an immunoinformatic study based on reverse vaccinology approach

    Authors: Afshin Samimi Nemati; Majid Tafrihi; Fatemeh Sheikhi; Abolfazl Rostamian Tabari; Amirhossein Haditabar

    doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-206270/v1 Date: 2021-02-04 Source: ResearchSquare

    Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 MESHD (SARS-CoV-2) has currently caused a significant pandemic among worldwide populations. The transmission speed and the high rate of mortality caused by the disease necessitate studies for the rapid designing and effective vaccine production. The purpose of this study is to predict and design a novel multi-epitope vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus using bioinformatics approaches. Coronavirus envelope proteins PROTEIN, ORF7b PROTEIN, ORF8 PROTEIN, ORF10 PROTEIN, and NSP9 PROTEIN were selected as targets for epitope mapping using IEDB and BepiPred 2.0 Servers. Also, molecular docking studies were performed to determine the candidate vaccine's affinity to TLR3 HGNC, TLR4 HGNC, MHC I, and MHC II molecules. Thirteen epitopes were selected to construct the multi-epitope vaccine. We found that the constructed peptide has valuable antigenicity, stability, and appropriate half-life. The Ramachandran plot approved the quality of the predicted model after the refinement process. Molecular docking investigations revealed that antibody-mode in the Cluspro 2.0 server showed the lowest binding energy for MHCI, MHCII, TLR3 HGNC, and TLR4 HGNC. This study confirmed that the designed vaccine has a good antigenicity and stability and could be a proper vaccine candidate against the COVID-19 MESHD infectious disease MESHD though, in vitro and in vivo experiments are necessary to complete and confirm our results.

    SARS-CoV-2 antibody signatures for predicting the outcome of COVID-19 MESHD

    Authors: Qing Lei; Caizheng Yu; Yang Li; Hongyan Hou; Zhaowei Xu; Meian He; Ziyong Sun; Feng Wang; Sheng-ce Tao; Xionglin Fan

    doi:10.1101/2020.11.10.20228890 Date: 2020-11-13 Source: medRxiv

    The COIVD-19 global pandemic is far from ending. There is an urgent need to identify applicable biomarkers for predicting the outcome of COVID-19 MESHD. Growing evidences have revealed that SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies remain elevated with disease progression and severity in COIVD-19 patients. We assumed that antibodies may serve as biomarkers for predicting disease outcome. By taking advantage of a newly developed SARS-CoV-2 proteome microarray, we surveyed IgM/ IgG responses against 20 SARS-CoV-2 proteins in 1,034 hospitalized COVID-19 MESHD patients on admission, who were followed till 66 days. The microarray results were correlated with clinical information, laboratory test results and patient outcomes. Cox proportional hazards model was used to explore the association between SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies and COVID-19 MESHD mortality. We found that high level of IgM against ORF7b PROTEIN at the time of hospitalization is an independent predictor of patient survival (p trend = 0.002), while levels of IgG responses to 6 non-structural proteins PROTEIN and 1 accessory protein, i. e PROTEIN., NSP4 HGNC NSP4 PROTEIN, NSP7 PROTEIN, NSP9 PROTEIN, NSP10 PROTEIN, RdRp PROTEIN ( NSP12 PROTEIN), NSP14 PROTEIN, and ORF3b PROTEIN, possess significant predictive power for patient death MESHD, even after further adjustments for demographics, comorbidities, and common laboratory markers for disease severity (all with p trend < 0.05). Spline regression analysis indicated that the correlation between ORF7b PROTEIN IgM, NSP9 PROTEIN IgG, and NSP10 PROTEIN IgG and risk of COVID-19 MESHD mortality is linear (p = 0.0013, 0.0073 and 0.0003, respectively). Their AUCs for predictions, determined by computational cross-validations (validation1), were 0.74 (cut-off = 7.59), 0.66 (cut-off = 9.13), and 0.68 (cut-off = 6.29), respectively. Further validations were conducted in the second and third serial samples of these cases (validation2A, n = 633, validation2B, n = 382), with high accuracy of prediction for outcome. These findings have important implications for improving clinical management, and especially for developing medical interventions and vaccines.

    Polypharmacology of Some Medicinal Plant Metabolites Against SARS-CoV-2 and Host Targets: Molecular Dynamics Evaluation of NSP9 PROTEIN RNA Binding Protein

    Authors: Suritra Bandyopadhyay; Omobolanle Abimbola Abiodun; Blessing Chinweotito Ogboo; Adeola Tawakalitu Kola-Mustapha; Emmanuel Ifeanyi Attah; Lawrence Edemhanria; Ankita Kumari; Ravindran Jaganathan; Niyi Samuel Adelakun

    doi:10.26434/chemrxiv.12945833.v1 Date: 2020-09-14 Source: ChemRxiv

    Background: Medicinal plants, as rich sources of bioactive compounds with antiviral properties, are now being explored for the development of drugs against SARS-CoV-2.Aims: Identification of promising compounds for the treatment of COVID-19 MESHD from natural products via molecular modelling against NSP9 PROTEIN, including some other viral and host targets and evaluation of polypharmacological indications.Main methods: A manually curated library of 521 phytochemicals (from 19 medicinal plants) was virtually screened using Mcule server and binding interactions were studied using DS Visualiser. Docking thresholds were set based on the scores of standard controls and rigorous ADMET properties were used to finally get the potential inhibitors. Free binding energies of the docked complexes were calculated employing MM-GBSA method. MM-GBSA informed our choice for MD MESHD simulation studies performed against NSP9 PROTEIN to study the stability of the drug-receptor interaction. NSP9 PROTEIN structure comparison was also performed. Key findings: Extensive screening of the molecules identified 5 leads for NSP9 PROTEIN, 23 for Furin, 18 for ORF3a PROTEIN, and 19 for interleukin-6. Ochnaflavone and Licoflavone B, obtained from Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) and Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice), respectively, were identified to have the highest potential multi-target inhibition properties for NSP9 PROTEIN, furin, ORF3a PROTEIN, and IL-6. Additionally, molecular dynamics simulation supports the robust stability of Ochnaflavone and Licoflavone B against NSP9 PROTEIN at the active sites via hydrophobic interactions, H-bonding, and H-bonding facilitated by water.Significance: These compounds with the highest drug-like ranking against multiple viral and host targets have the potential to be drug candidates for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection MESHD that may possibly act on multiple pathways simultaneously to inhibit viral entry and replication as well as disease progression.

    Temporal landscape of mutation accumulation in SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Bangladesh: possible implications from the ongoing outbreak in Bangladesh

    Authors: Otun Saha; Rokaiya Nurani Shatadru; Nadira Naznin Rakhi; Israt Islam; Md. Shahadat Hossain; Md. Mizanur Rahaman; Leo C James; Madeline A Lancaster; Zhu Shu; Zhiming Yuan; Lei Tong; Han Xia; Jingzhe Pan; Natalie Garton; Manish Pareek; Michael Barer; Craig J Smith; Stuart M Allan; Michelle M. Lister; Hannah C. Howson-Wells; Edward C Holmes; Matthew W. Loose; Jonathan K. Ball; C. Patrick McClure; - The COVID-19 Genomics UK consortium study group; Shi Chen

    doi:10.1101/2020.08.20.259721 Date: 2020-08-21 Source: bioRxiv

    Along with intrinsic evolution, adaptation to selective pressure in new environments might have resulted in the circulatory SARS-CoV-2 strains in response to the geoenvironmental conditions of a country and the demographic profile of its population. Thus the analysis of genomic mutations of these circulatory strains may give an insight into the molecular basis of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and evolution favoring the development of effective treatment and containment strategies. With this target, the current study traced the evolutionary route and mutational frequency of 198 Bangladesh originated SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences available in the GISAID platform over a period of 13 weeks as of 14 July 2020. The analyses were performed using MEGA 7, Swiss Model Repository, Virus Pathogen Resource and Jalview visualization. Our analysis identified that majority of the circulating strains in the country belong to B and/or L type among cluster A to Z and strikingly differ from both the reference genome and the first sequenced genome from Bangladesh. Mutations in Nonspecific protein 2 ( NSP2 PROTEIN NSP2 HGNC), NSP3 PROTEIN NSP3 HGNC, RNA dependent RNA polymerase PROTEIN ( RdRp PROTEIN), Helicase HGNC, Spike, ORF3a PROTEIN, and Nucleocapsid (N) protein PROTEIN were common in the circulating strains with varying degrees and the most unique mutations(UM) were found in NSP3 HGNC NSP3 PROTEIN (UM-18). But no or limited changes were observed in NSP9 PROTEIN, NSP11 PROTEIN, E (Envelope), NSP7a, ORF 6, and ORF 7b suggesting the possible conserved functions of those proteins in SARS-CoV-2 propagation. However, along with D614G mutation, more than 20 different mutations in the Spike protein PROTEIN were detected basically in the S2 domain. Besides, mutations in SR-rich region of N protein PROTEIN and P323L in RDRP PROTEIN were also present. However, the mutation accumulation showed an association with sex and age of the COVID-19 MESHD positive cases. So, identification of these mutational accumulation patterns may greatly facilitate drug/ vaccine development deciphering the age and the sex dependent differential susceptibility to COVID-19 MESHD.

    Global variation in the SARS-CoV-2 proteome reveals the mutational hotspots in the drug and vaccine candidates

    Authors: L Ponoop Prasad Patro; Chakkarai Sathyaseelan; Patil Pranita Uttamrao; Thenmalarchelvi Rathinavelan

    doi:10.1101/2020.07.31.230987 Date: 2020-07-31 Source: bioRxiv

    To accelerate the drug and vaccine development against the severe acute respiratory syndrome MESHD virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a comparative analysis of SARS-CoV-2 proteome has been performed in two phases by considering manually curated 31389 whole genome sequences from 84 countries. Among the 9 mutations that occur at a high significance (T85I-NPS2, L37F- NSP6 PROTEIN, P323L- NSP12 PROTEIN, D614G-spike, Q57H- ORF3a PROTEIN, G251V- ORF3a PROTEIN, L84S- ORF8 PROTEIN, R203K-nucleocapsid and G204R-nucleocapsid), R203K-nucleocapsid and G204R-nucleocapsid are co-occurring (dependent) mutations and P323L- NSP12 PROTEIN and D614G-spike often appear simultaneously. Other notable variations that appear with a moderate to low significance are, M85- NSP1 HGNC deletion, D268- NSP2 HGNC NSP2 PROTEIN deletion, 112 amino acids deletion in ORF8 PROTEIN, a phenylalanine insertion amidst F34-F36 ( NSP6 PROTEIN) and several co-existing (dependent) substitution/deletion (I559V & P585S in NSP2 HGNC NSP2 PROTEIN, P504L & Y541C in NSP13 PROTEIN, G82 & H83 deletions in NSP1 HGNC and K141, S142 & F143 deletions in NSP2 HGNC NSP2 PROTEIN) mutations. P323L- NSP12 PROTEIN, D614G-spike, L37F- NSP6 PROTEIN, L84S- ORF8 PROTEIN and the sequences deficient of the high significant mutations have led to 4 major SARS-CoV-2 clades. The top 5 countries bearing all the high significant and majority of the moderate significant mutations are: USA, England, Wales, Australia and Scotland. Further, the majority of the significant mutations have evolved in the first phase and have already transmitted around the globe indicating the positive selection pressure. Among the 26 SARS-CoV-2 proteins, nucleocapsid PROTEIN protein, ORF3a PROTEIN, ORF8 PROTEIN, RNA dependent RNA polymerase PROTEIN and spike exhibit a higher heterogeneity compared with the rest of the proteins. However, NSP9 PROTEIN, NSP10 PROTEIN, NSP8 PROTEIN, the envelope protein PROTEIN and NSP4 HGNC NSP4 PROTEIN are highly resistant to mutations and can be exploited for drug/vaccine development.

    Shortlisting Phytochemicals Exhibiting Inhibitory Activity against Major Proteins of SARS-CoV-2 through Virtual Screening

    Authors: Saranya Nallusamy; Jayakanthan Mannu; Caroline Ravikumar; Kandavelmani Angamuthu; Bharathi Nathan; Kumaravadivel Nachimuthu; Gnanam Ramasamy; Raveendran Muthurajan; Mohankumar Subbarayalu; Kumar Neelakandan

    doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-31834/v1 Date: 2020-05-27 Source: ResearchSquare

    Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 MESHD (SARS-CoV-2) declared as a pandemic by WHO that has affected more than 40 lakh peoples and caused death MESHD of more than 2 lakh individuals across the globe. Limited availability of genomic information of SARS-CoV-2 and non-availability of vaccines and effective drugs are major problems responsible for the ineffective control and management of this pandemic. Several attempts have been made to explore repurposing existing drugs known for their anti-viral activities, and test the traditional herbal medicines known for their health benefiting and immune boosting activity against SARS-CoV-2.In this study, efforts were made to examine the potential of 721 phytochemicals of 37 plant species in inhibiting major protein targets namely, spike glycoprotein PROTEIN, main protease PROTEIN (MPro), NSP3 HGNC NSP3 PROTEIN, NSP9 PROTEIN, NSP15 PROTEIN, NSP10 PROTEIN- NSP16 PROTEIN and RNA dependent RNA polymerase PROTEIN of SARS-CoV-2 through virtual screening approach. Results of our experiments revealed that SARS-CoV-2 MPro shared significant dissimilarities against SARS-CoVMPro and MERS-CoVMPro indicating the need for discovering novel drugs. This study has identified the phytochemical cyanin (Zingiber officinale) exhibiting broad spectrum inhibitory activity against main proteases PROTEIN of all the three Coronaviruses. Amentoflavone, agathisflavone, catechin-7-o-gallate and chlorogeninwere shown to exhibit multi target inhibitory activity. This study has identified Mangifera indica, Anacardium occidentale, Vitex negundo, Solanum nigrum, Pedalium murex, Terminalia chebula, Azadirachta indica, Cissus quadrangularis, Clerodendrum serratum and Ocimum basilicum as potential sources of phytochemicals combating n COVID-19 MESHD. More interestingly, this study has generated evidences for the anti-viral properties of the traditional herbal formulation “Kabasura kudineer” recommended by AYUSH, a unit of Government of India. Testing of short listed phytochemicals through clinical trials will help in developing effective formulation for management of this pandemic disease. Genomic analysis of identified herbal plants will help in unravelling molecular complexity of therapeutic and anti-viral properties and will pave way for designing synthetic drugs. 

    Structure Based Drug Repurposing Through Targeting Nsp9 Replicase and Spike Proteins PROTEIN of SARS-CoV-2

    Authors: Vaishali Chandel; Prem Prakash Sharma; Sibin Raj; Brijesh Rathi; Dhruv Kumar

    doi:10.26434/chemrxiv.12292514.v1 Date: 2020-05-14 Source: ChemRxiv

    Due to unavailability of therapeutic approach for the novel coronavirus disease ( COVID-19 MESHD), the drug repurposing approach would be the fastest and efficient way of drug development against this deadly disease. We have applied bioinformatics approach for structure-based drug repurposing to identify the potential inhibitors through drug screening, molecular docking and molecular dynamics against non-structural protein 9 PROTEIN (Nsp9) replicase and spike proteins PROTEIN of the SARS-CoV-2 from the FDA approved drugs. We have performed virtual screening of 2000 FDA approved compounds including antiviral, anti-malarial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-tuberculosis and active phytochemicals against Nsp9 replicase and spike proteins PROTEIN of SARS-CoV-2. Molecular docking was performed using Autodock-Vina. Selected hit compounds were identified based on their highest binding energy and favourable ADME profile. Notably, Conivaptan, an arginine vasopressin antagonist drug exhibited highest binding energy (-8.4 Kcal/mol) and maximum stability with the amino acid residues present on the active site of Nsp9 replicase. Additionally, Tegobuvir, a non-nucleoside inhibitor of hepatitis C virus exhibited maximum stability with highest binding energy (-8.1 Kcal/mol) on the active site of spike protein PROTEIN. Molecular docking scores were further validated with the molecular dynamics using Schrodinger, which supported strong stability of ligands with proteins at their active site through water bridges, hydrophobic interactions, H-bond. Overall, our findings highlight the fact that Conivaptan and Tegobuvir could be used to control the infection and propagation of SARS-CoV-2 targeting Nsp9 replicase and spike protein PROTEIN, respectively. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo validation of these findings will be helpful in bringing these molecules at the clinical settings.

    CogMol: Target-Specific and Selective Drug Design for COVID-19 MESHD Using Deep Generative Models

    Authors: Vijil Chenthamarakshan; Payel Das; Samuel C. Hoffman; Hendrik Strobelt; Inkit Padhi; Kar Wai Lim; Benjamin Hoover; Matteo Manica; Jannis Born; Teodoro Laino; Aleksandra Mojsilovic

    id:2004.01215v2 Date: 2020-04-02 Source: arXiv

    The novel nature of SARS-CoV-2 calls for the development of efficient de novo drug design approaches. In this study, we propose an end-to-end framework, named CogMol (Controlled Generation of Molecules), for designing new drug-like small molecules targeting novel viral proteins with high affinity and off-target selectivity. CogMol combines adaptive pre-training of a molecular SMILES Variational Autoencoder (VAE) and an efficient multi-attribute controlled sampling scheme that uses guidance from attribute predictors trained on latent features. To generate novel and optimal drug-like molecules for unseen viral targets, CogMol leverages a protein-molecule binding affinity predictor that is trained using SMILES VAE embeddings and protein sequence embeddings learned unsupervised from a large corpus. CogMol framework is applied to three SARS-CoV-2 target proteins: main protease PROTEIN, receptor-binding domain of the spike protein PROTEIN, and non-structural protein 9 PROTEIN replicase. The generated candidates are novel at both molecular and chemical scaffold levels when compared to the training data. CogMol also includes insilico screening for assessing toxicity MESHD of parent molecules and their metabolites with a multi-task toxicity MESHD classifier, synthetic feasibility with a chemical retrosynthesis predictor, and target structure binding with docking simulations. Docking reveals favorable binding of generated molecules to the target protein structure, where 87-95 % of high affinity molecules showed docking free energy < -6 kcal/mol. When compared to approved drugs, the majority of designed compounds show low parent molecule and metabolite toxicity MESHD and high synthetic feasibility. In summary, CogMol handles multi-constraint design of synthesizable, low-toxic, drug-like molecules with high target specificity and selectivity, and does not need target-dependent fine-tuning of the framework or target structure information.

    Crystal structure of the SARS-CoV- 2 non-structural protein PROTEIN 9, Nsp HGNC9

    Authors: Dene Littler; Benjamin Gully; Rhys N Colson; Jamie Rossjohn

    doi:10.1101/2020.03.28.013920 Date: 2020-03-30 Source: bioRxiv

    Many of the proteins produced by SARS-CoV-2 have related counterparts across the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome MESHD ( SARS-CoV MESHD) family. One such protein is non-structural protein 9 PROTEIN (Nsp9), which is thought to mediate both viral replication and virulence. Current understanding suggests that Nsp9 is involved in viral genomic RNA reproduction. Nsp9 is thought to bind RNA via a fold that is unique to this class of betacoronoaviruses although the molecular basis for this remains ill-defined. We sought to better characterise the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9 protein and subsequently solved its X-ray crystal structure, in an apo-form and, unexpectedly, in a peptide-bound form with a sequence originating from a rhinoviral 3C protease sequence (LEVL). The structure of the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9 revealed the high level of structural conservation within the Nsp9 family. The exogenous peptide binding site is close to the dimer interface and impacted on the relative juxtaposition of the monomers within the homodimer. Together we have established a protocol for the production of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9, determined its structure and identified a peptide-binding site that may warrant further study from the perspective of understanding Nsp9 function.

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MeSH Disease
HGNC Genes
SARS-CoV-2 Proteins

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