May 1, 2020

Electrostatic Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Human ACE2 Protein Variations Predict Mutable Binding Efficacy

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Scott P Morton, J. L. Phillips


SARS-CoV-2 is a novel pneumonia virus that emerged from bats to crossover into humans in late 2019. As the global pandemic ensues, scientist are working to evaluate the virus and develop a vaccine to counteract the deadly disease that has impacted lives across the entire globe. We present an electrostatic analysis at the structural level that predicts different variations of SARS-CoV-2 in complex with human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) variants impact forces involved with interactions between the proteins. Two of six SARS-CoV-2 variations having greater electric forces at pH levels consistent with nasal secretions and significant variations in force across all five variants of ACE2. While five out of six SARS-CoV-2 variations have relatively consistent forces at pH levels associated with normal lung function, and one SARS-CoV-2 variant that has low potential across a wide range of pH. These predictions indicate that variants of SARS-CoV-2 and human ACE2 in certain combinations could potentially play a role in increased binding efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 in vivo.

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