Spike protein (S protein) is the virus "key"to infect cells and is able to strongly bind to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme2 (ACE2), as has been reported. In fact, Spike structure and function is known to be highly important for cell infection as well as for entering the brain. Growing evidence indicates that different types of coronaviruses not only affect the respiratory system, but they might also invade the central nervous system (CNS). However, very little evidence has been so far reported on the presence of COVID-19 in the brain, and the potential exploitation, by this virus, of the lung to brain axis to reach neurons has not been completely understood. In this Article, we assessed the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein sequence, structure, and electrostatic potential using computational approaches. Our results showed that the S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV are highly similar, sharing a sequence identity of 77%. In addition, we found that the SARS-CoV-2 S protein is slightly more positively charged than that of SARS-CoV since it contains four more positively charged residues and five less negatively charged residues which may lead to an increased affinity to bind to negatively charged regions of other molecules through nonspecific and specific interactions. Analysis the S protein binding to the host ACE2 receptor showed a 30% higher binding energy for SARS-CoV-2 than for the SARS-CoV S protein. These results might be useful for understanding the mechanism of cell entry, blood-brain barrier crossing, and clinical features related to the CNS infection by SARS-CoV-2.

Considerations around the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein with Particular Attention to COVID-19 Brain Infection and Neurological Symptoms / K. Hassanzadeh, H. Perez Pena, J. Dragotto, L. Buccarello, F. Iorio, S. Pieraccini, G. Sancini, M. Feligioni. - In: ACS CHEMICAL NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 1948-7193. - 11:15(2020 Aug 05), pp. 2361-2369. [10.1021/acschemneuro.0c00373]

Considerations around the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein with Particular Attention to COVID-19 Brain Infection and Neurological Symptoms

H. Perez Pena
Secondo
;
L. Buccarello;F. Iorio;S. Pieraccini;
2020-08-05

Abstract

Spike protein (S protein) is the virus "key"to infect cells and is able to strongly bind to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme2 (ACE2), as has been reported. In fact, Spike structure and function is known to be highly important for cell infection as well as for entering the brain. Growing evidence indicates that different types of coronaviruses not only affect the respiratory system, but they might also invade the central nervous system (CNS). However, very little evidence has been so far reported on the presence of COVID-19 in the brain, and the potential exploitation, by this virus, of the lung to brain axis to reach neurons has not been completely understood. In this Article, we assessed the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein sequence, structure, and electrostatic potential using computational approaches. Our results showed that the S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV are highly similar, sharing a sequence identity of 77%. In addition, we found that the SARS-CoV-2 S protein is slightly more positively charged than that of SARS-CoV since it contains four more positively charged residues and five less negatively charged residues which may lead to an increased affinity to bind to negatively charged regions of other molecules through nonspecific and specific interactions. Analysis the S protein binding to the host ACE2 receptor showed a 30% higher binding energy for SARS-CoV-2 than for the SARS-CoV S protein. These results might be useful for understanding the mechanism of cell entry, blood-brain barrier crossing, and clinical features related to the CNS infection by SARS-CoV-2.
ACE2; Brain; COVID-19; Spike Protein; Amino Acid Sequence; Betacoronavirus; Brain; Coronavirus Infections; Humans; Nervous System Diseases; Pandemics; Pneumonia, Viral; Protein Structure, Secondary; Protein Structure, Tertiary; Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
Settore BIO/10 - Biochimica
6-lug-2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/762618
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