Mar 31, 2020

Computational Design of Peptides to Block Binding of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein to Human ACE2

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Xiaoqiang Huang, R. Pearce


The outbreak of COVID-19 has now become a global pandemic and it continues to spread rapidly worldwide, severely threatening lives and economic stability. Making the problem worse, there is no specific antiviral drug that can be used to treat COVID-19 to date. SARS-CoV-2 initiates its entry into human cells by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) via the receptor binding domain (RBD) of its spike protein. Therefore, molecules that can block SARS-CoV-2 from binding to hACE2 may potentially prevent the virus from entering human cells and serve as an effective antiviral drug. Based on this idea, we designed a series of peptides that can strongly bind to SARS-CoV-2 RBD in computational experiments. Specifically, we first constructed a 31-mer peptidic scaffold by linking two fragments grafted from hACE2 (a.a. 22-44 and 351-357) with a linker glycine, and then redesigned the peptide sequence to enhance its binding affinity to SARS-CoV-2 RBD. Compare with several computational studies that failed to identify that SARS-CoV-2 shows higher binding affinity for hACE2 than SARS-CoV, our protein design scoring function, EvoEF2, makes a correct identification, which is consistent with the recently reported experimental data, im...Continue Reading

  • References
  • Citations


  • We're still populating references for this paper, please check back later.
  • References
  • Citations


  • This paper may not have been cited yet.

Mentioned in this Paper

Genome-Wide Association Study
Zea mays
Anatomical Space Structure
Cell Differentiation Process
Cell Growth
Bnk protein, Drosophila

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.