Receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 from Wuhan strain to Omicron B.1.1.529 attributes increased affinity to variable structures of human ACE2.J Infect Public Health. 2022 Jul; 15(7):781-787.JI
COVID-19 is an infectious disease declared as a global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus. Genomic changes in the receptor binding domain (RBD) region of SARS-CoV-2 led to an increased, infectivity in humans through interaction with the angiotensin-converting enzyme2 (ACE2) receptor. Simultaneously, the genetic variants in ACE2 provide an opportunity for SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity. We demonstrate the binding efficiencies of RBDs of SARS-CoV-2 strain with ACE2 variants of the human host.
A Total of 615 SARS-CoV-2 genomes were retrieved from repository. Eighteen variations were identified contributing to structural changes in RBD that are distributed in 615 isolates. An analyses of 285 single nucleotide variances at the coding region of the ACE2 receptor showed 34 to be pathogenic. Homology models of 34 ACE2 and 18 RBD structures were constructed with 34 and 18 structural variants, respectively. Protein docking of 612 (34 *18) ACE2-RBD complexes showed variable affinities compared to wildtype Wuhan's and other SARS-CoV-2 RBDs, including Omicron B.1.1.529. Finally, molecular dynamic simulation was performed to determine the stability of the complexes.
Among 612, the top 3 complexes showing least binding energy were selected. The ACE2 with rs961360700 variant showed the least binding energy (-895.2 Kcal/mol) on binding with the RBD of Phe160Ser variant compared to Wuhan's RBD complex. Interestingly, the binding energy of RBD of Omicron B.1.1.529 with ACE2 (rs961360700) structure showed least binding energy of -1010 Kcal/mol. Additionally, molecular dynamics showed structure stability for all the analysed complexes with the RMSD (0.22-0.26 nm), RMSF (0.11-0.13 nm), and Rg (2.53-2.56 nm).
In conclusion, our investigation highlights the clinical variants contributing to structural variants in ACE2 receptors that lead to efficient binding of SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, screening of these ACE2 polymorphisms will help detect COVID-19 risk population so as to provide additional care and for safe management.