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Charged amino acids may promote coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 fusion with the host cell

  • Received: 17 November 2020 Accepted: 29 December 2020 Published: 25 January 2021
  • The charged amino acids in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 exhibit some specific distribution. In the RBD region of the S1 unit the positive charge dominates in the protein interior and the negative charge prevails on the surface exposed towards ACE2 receptor. The charged amino acids in the S2 region preceding heptad repeats of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, exhibit a central concentration, and the imbalance of a positive charge. The idea that both distributions of charged amino acids may, in an electrostatic manner, facilitate the coronavirus infection of the cell is presented. An evaluation of the virus-receptor binding energy, by docking the peptide resembling the human receptor site to the virus RBD, and the estimation of electromechanical deformation of the cell membrane by S2 during the prefusion process were included. Possible prevention of viral infection is suggested.

    Citation: Piotr H. Pawłowski. Charged amino acids may promote coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 fusion with the host cell[J]. AIMS Biophysics, 2021, 8(1): 111-120. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2021008

    Related Papers:

  • The charged amino acids in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 exhibit some specific distribution. In the RBD region of the S1 unit the positive charge dominates in the protein interior and the negative charge prevails on the surface exposed towards ACE2 receptor. The charged amino acids in the S2 region preceding heptad repeats of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, exhibit a central concentration, and the imbalance of a positive charge. The idea that both distributions of charged amino acids may, in an electrostatic manner, facilitate the coronavirus infection of the cell is presented. An evaluation of the virus-receptor binding energy, by docking the peptide resembling the human receptor site to the virus RBD, and the estimation of electromechanical deformation of the cell membrane by S2 during the prefusion process were included. Possible prevention of viral infection is suggested.



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    Conflict of interest



    The author declares no conflict of interest.

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