The effect of salt on the dynamics of CoV-2 RBD at ACE2

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Emanuel K Peter, Alexander Schug


In this article, we investigate the effect of electrolytes on the stability of the complex between the coronavirus type 2 spike protein receptor domain (CoV-2 RBD) and ACE2, which plays an important role in the activation cascade at the viral entry of CoV-2 into human cells. At the cellular surface, electrolytes play an important role, especially in the interaction of proteins near the membrane surface. Additionally, the binding interface of the CoV-2 RBD - ACE2 complex is highly hydrophilic. We simulated the CoV-2 RBD - ACE2 complex at varying salt concentrations over the concentration range from 0.03 M to 0.3 M of calcium and sodium chloride over an individual simulation length of 750 ns in 9 independent simulations (6.75 micro s total). We observe that the CoV-2 RBD - ACE2 complex is stabilized independent of the salt concentration. We identify a strong negative electrostatic potential at the N-terminal part of CoV-2 RBD and we find that CoV-2 RBD binds even stronger at higher salt concentrations. We observe that the dynamics of the N-terminal part of CoV-2 RBD stabilize the protein complex leading to strong collective motions and a stable interface between CoV-2 RBD and ACE2. We state that the sequence of CoV-2 RBD might be...Continue Reading

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