Apr 19, 2020

Exploring Conformational Transition of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Spike Glycoprotein Between Its Closed and Open States Using Molecular Dynamics Simulations

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Mert GurM. Golcuk

Abstract

Since its first recorded appearance in December 2019, a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) causing the disease COVID-19 has resulted in more than 2,000,000 infections and 128,000 deaths. Currently there is no proven treatment for COVID-19 and there is an urgent need for the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Coronavirus spike glycoproteins play a critical role in coronavirus entry into the host cells, as they provide host cell recognition and membrane fusion between virus and host cell. Thus, they emerged as popular and promising drug targets. Crystal structures of spike protein in its closed and open states were resolved very recently in March 2020. These structures comprise 77% of the sequence and provide almost the complete protein structure. Based on down and up positions of receptor binding domain (RBD), spike protein can be in a receptor inaccessible closed or receptor accessible open state, respectively. Starting from closed and open state crystal structures, and also 16 intermediate conformations, an extensive set of all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in the presence of explicit water and ions were performed. Simulations show that in its down position, RBD has significantly lower mobility compared to its up...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

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