Apr 10, 2020

ACE2 fragment as a decoy for novel SARS-Cov-2 virus

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
F. Renzi, Dario Ghersi


Novel SARS-Cov-2 enters human cells via interaction between the surface spike (S) glycoprotein and the cellular membrane receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Using a combination of comparative structural analyses of the binding surface of the S protein to ACE2, docking experiments, and molecular dynamics simulations we computationally identified a minimal, stable fragment of ACE2. This fragment binds to the S protein, is soluble, and appears not to bind to the physiological ligand angiotensinII. These results suggest a possible use of the ACE2 fragment as a decoy that could interfere with viral binding by competition.

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