Computational analysis of protein stability and allosteric interaction networks in distinct conformational forms of the SARS-CoV-2 spike D614G mutant: reconciling functional mechanisms through allosteric model of spike regulation.

Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics
Gennady M VerkhivkerGrace Gupta


In this study, we used an integrative computational approach to examine molecular mechanisms underlying functional effects of the D614G mutation by exploring atomistic modeling of the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins as allosteric regulatory machines. We combined coarse-grained simulations, protein stability and dynamic fluctuation communication analysis with network-based community analysis to examine structures of the native and mutant SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins in different functional states. Through distance fluctuations communication analysis, we probed stability and allosteric communication propensities of protein residues in the native and mutant SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins, providing evidence that the D614G mutation can enhance long-range signaling of the allosteric spike engine. By combining functional dynamics analysis and ensemble-based alanine scanning of the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins we found that the D614G mutation can improve stability of the spike protein in both closed and open forms, but shifting thermodynamic preferences towards the open mutant form. Our results revealed that the D614G mutation can promote the increased number of stable communities and allosteric hub centers in the open form by reorganizing and enhanci...Continue Reading


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