Amino Acid Substitutions
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2022 ◽  
Edward P Harvey ◽  
Jung-Eun Shin ◽  
Meredith A Skiba ◽  
Genevieve R Nemeth ◽  
Joseph D Hurley ◽  

Antibodies are essential biological research tools and important therapeutic agents, but some exhibit non-specific binding to off-target proteins and other biomolecules. Such polyreactive antibodies compromise screening pipelines, lead to incorrect and irreproducible experimental results, and are generally intractable for clinical development. We designed a set of experiments using a diverse naive synthetic camelid antibody fragment ('nanobody') library to enable machine learning models to accurately assess polyreactivity from protein sequence (AUC > 0.8). Moreover, our models provide quantitative scoring metrics that predict the effect of amino acid substitutions on polyreactivity. We experimentally tested our model's performance on three independent nanobody scaffolds, where over 90% of predicted substitutions successfully reduced polyreactivity. Importantly, the model allowed us to diminish the polyreactivity of an angiotensin II type I receptor antagonist nanobody, without compromising its pharmacological properties. We provide a companion web-server that provides a straightforward means of predicting polyreactivity and polyreactivity-reducing mutations for any given nanobody sequence.

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (2) ◽  
pp. 838
Bahaa Jawad ◽  
Puja Adhikari ◽  
Kun Cheng ◽  
Rudolf Podgornik ◽  
Wai-Yim Ching

A rational therapeutic strategy is urgently needed for combating SARS-CoV-2 infection. Viral infection initiates when the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) binds to the ACE2 receptor, and thus, inhibiting RBD is a promising therapeutic for blocking viral entry. In this study, the structure of lead antiviral candidate binder (LCB1), which has three alpha-helices (H1, H2, and H3), is used as a template to design and simulate several miniprotein RBD inhibitors. LCB1 undergoes two modifications: structural modification by truncation of the H3 to reduce its size, followed by single and double amino acid substitutions to enhance its binding with RBD. We use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations supported by ab initio density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Complete binding profiles of all miniproteins with RBD have been determined. The MD investigations reveal that the H3 truncation results in a small inhibitor with a −1.5 kcal/mol tighter binding to RBD than original LCB1, while the best miniprotein with higher binding affinity involves D17R or E11V + D17R mutation. DFT calculations provide atomic-scale details on the role of hydrogen bonding and partial charge distribution in stabilizing the minibinder:RBD complex. This study provides insights into general principles for designing potential therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2.

2022 ◽  
Brenda Martínez-González ◽  
María Eugenia Soria ◽  
Lucia Vazquez-Sirvent ◽  
Cristina Ferrer-Orta ◽  
Rebeca Lobo-Vega ◽  

Mutant spectra of RNA viruses are important to understand viral pathogenesis, and response to selective pressures. There is a need to characterize the complexity of mutant spectra in coronaviruses sampled from infected patients. In particular, the possible relationship between SARS-CoV-2 mutant spectrum complexity and disease associations has not been established. In the present study, we report an ultra-deep sequencing (UDS) analysis of the mutant spectrum of amplicons from the nsp12 (polymerase)- and spike (S)-coding regions of thirty nasopharyngeal isolates (diagnostic samples) of SARS-CoV-2 of the first COVID-19 pandemic wave (Madrid, Spain, April 2020) classified according to the severity of ensuing COVID-19. Low frequency mutations and deletions, counted relative to the consensus sequence of the corresponding isolate, were overwhelmingly abundant. We show that the average number of different point mutations, mutations per haplotype and several diversity indices was significantly higher in SARS-CoV-2 isolated from patients who developed mild disease than in those associated with moderate or severe disease (exitus). No such bias was observed with RNA deletions. Location of amino acid substitutions in the three dimensional structures of nsp12 (polymerase) and S suggest significant structural or functional effects. Thus, patients who develop mild symptoms may be a richer source of genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2 than patients with moderate or severe COVID-19.

Julian Schröter ◽  
Bernt Popp ◽  
Heiko Brennenstuhl ◽  
Jan H. Döring ◽  
Stephany H. Donze ◽  

AbstractTUBA1A tubulinopathy is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder associated with brain malformations as well as early-onset and intractable epilepsy. As pathomechanisms and genotype-phenotype correlations are not completely understood, we aimed to provide further insights into the phenotypic and genetic spectrum. We here present a multicenter case series of ten unrelated individuals from four European countries using systematic MRI re-evaluation, protein structure analysis, and prediction score modeling. In two cases, pregnancy was terminated due to brain malformations. Amongst the eight living individuals, the phenotypic range showed various severity. Global developmental delay and severe motor impairment with tetraparesis was present in 63% and 50% of the subjects, respectively. Epilepsy was observed in 75% of the cases, which showed infantile onset in 83% and a refractory course in 50%. One individual presented a novel TUBA1A-associated electroclinical phenotype with evolvement from early myoclonic encephalopathy to continuous spike-and-wave during sleep. Neuroradiological features comprised a heterogeneous spectrum of cortical and extracortical malformations including rare findings such as cobblestone lissencephaly and subcortical band heterotopia. Two individuals developed hydrocephalus with subsequent posterior infarction. We report four novel and five previously published TUBA1A missense variants whose resulting amino acid substitutions likely affect longitudinal, lateral, and motor protein interactions as well as GTP binding. Assessment of pathogenic and benign variant distributions in synopsis with prediction scores revealed sections of variant enrichment and intolerance to missense variation. We here extend the clinical, neuroradiological, and genetic spectrum of TUBA1A tubulinopathy and provide insights into residue-specific pathomechanisms and genotype-phenotype correlations.

2022 ◽  
Vol 8 (1) ◽  
Hridindu Roychowdury ◽  
Philip A. Romero

AbstractThe human caspase family comprises 12 cysteine proteases that are centrally involved in cell death and inflammation responses. The members of this family have conserved sequences and structures, highly similar enzymatic activities and substrate preferences, and overlapping physiological roles. In this paper, we present a deep mutational scan of the executioner caspases CASP3 and CASP7 to dissect differences in their structure, function, and regulation. Our approach leverages high-throughput microfluidic screening to analyze hundreds of thousands of caspase variants in tightly controlled in vitro reactions. The resulting data provides a large-scale and unbiased view of the impact of amino acid substitutions on the proteolytic activity of CASP3 and CASP7. We use this data to pinpoint key functional differences between CASP3 and CASP7, including a secondary internal cleavage site, CASP7 Q196 that is not present in CASP3. Our results will open avenues for inquiry in caspase function and regulation that could potentially inform the development of future caspase-specific therapeutics.

2022 ◽  
Vol 14 ◽  
Tao Su ◽  
Meng-Long Chen ◽  
Li-Hong Liu ◽  
Hen Meng ◽  
Bin Tang ◽  

Objective: An overwhelming majority of the genetic variants associated with genetic disorders are missense. The association between the nature of substitution and the functional alteration, which is critical in determining the pathogenicity of variants, remains largely unknown. With a novel missense variant (E1623A) identified from two epileptic cases, which occurs in the extracellular S3-S4 loop of Nav1.1, we studied functional changes of all latent mutations at residue E1623, aiming to understand the relationship between substitution nature and functional alteration.Methods: Six latent mutants with amino acid substitutions at E1623 were generated, followed by measurements of their electrophysiological alterations. Different computational analyses were used to parameterize the residue alterations.Results: Structural modeling indicated that the E1623 was located in the peripheral region far from the central pore, and contributed to the tight turn of the S3-S4 loop. The E1623 residue exhibited low functional tolerance to the substitutions with the most remarkable loss-of-function found in E1623A, including reduced current density, less steady-state availability of activation and inactivation, and slower recovery from fast inactivation. Correlation analysis between electrophysiological parameters and the parameterized physicochemical properties of different residues suggested that hydrophilicity of side-chain at E1623 might be a crucial contributor for voltage-dependent kinetics. However, none of the established algorithms on the physicochemical variations of residues could well predict changes in the channel conductance property indicated by peak current density.Significance: The results established the important role of the extracellular S3-S4 loop in Nav1.1 channel gating and proposed a possible effect of local conformational loop flexibility on channel conductance and kinetics. Site-specific knowledge of protein will be a fundamental task for future bioinformatics.

2022 ◽  
Mai-Juan Ma ◽  
Lin Yao ◽  
Hui-Xia Gao ◽  
Ka-Li Zhu ◽  
Jun Rong ◽  

Abstract Since the initial detection of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) in November 2021 in South Africa, it has caused a rapid increase in infections globally. The Omicron variant encodes 37 amino acid substitutions in its spike protein, and early reports have provided evidence for extensive immune escape and reduced vaccine effectiveness. We assessed serum neutralizing activity in sera from Delta infection following vaccination of CoronaVac or ZF2001 and Delta infection only against SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan-Hu-1 (WA1), Beta, Delta, and Omicron. We found that sera from Delta infection only could neutralize WA1 and Delta pseudoviruses but nearly completely lost capacity to neutralize Beta and Omicron pseudoviruses. However, Delta infection following vaccination resulted in a significant increase of serum neutralizing activity against WA1, Beta, and Omicron. This study demonstrates that breakthrough infection of Delta in previously vaccinated individuals substantially induced high potency humoral immune response against the Omicron variant and other emerged variants.

2022 ◽  
Vol 66 (6) ◽  
pp. 452-464
A. I. Kuznetsova ◽  
K. B. Gromov ◽  
D. E. Kireev ◽  
A. V. Shlykova ◽  
A. E. Lopatukhin ◽  

Introduction. Tat protein is a major factor of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) transcription regulation and has other activities. Tat is characterized by high variability, with some amino acid substitutions, including subtypespecific ones, being able to influence on its functionality. HIV type 1 (HIV-1) sub-subtype A6 is the most widespread in Russia. Previous studies of the polymorphisms in structural regions of the A6 variant have shown numerous characteristic features; however, Tat polymorphism in A6 has not been studied.Goals and tasks. The main goal of the work was to analyze the characteristics of Tat protein in HIV-1 A6 variant, that is, to identify substitutions characteristic for A6 and A1 variants, as well as to compare the frequency of mutations in functionally significant domains in sub-subtype A6 and subtype B.Material and methods. The nucleotide sequences of HIV-1 sub-subtypes A6, A1, A2, A3, A4, subtype B and the reference nucleotide sequence were obtained from the Los Alamos international database.Results and discussion. Q54H and Q60H were identified as characteristic substitutions. Essential differences in natural polymorphisms between sub-subtypes A6 and A1 have been demonstrated. In the CPP-region, there were detected mutations (R53K, Q54H, Q54P, R57G) which were more common in sub-subtype A6 than in subtype B.Conclusion. Tat protein of sub-subtype A6 have some characteristics that make it possible to reliably distinguish it from other HIV-1 variants. Mutations identified in the CPP region could potentially alter the activity of Tat. The data obtained could form the basis for the drugs and vaccines development.

2022 ◽  
Vol 5 (1) ◽  
Mattia Miotto ◽  
Lorenzo Di Rienzo ◽  
Giorgio Gosti ◽  
Leonardo Bo’ ◽  
Giacomo Parisi ◽  

AbstractAs the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) pandemic continues to spread, several variants of the virus, with mutations distributed all over the viral genome, are emerging. While most of the variants present mutations having little to no effects at the phenotypic level, some of these variants are spreading at a rate that suggests they may present a selective advantage. In particular, these rapidly spreading variants present specific mutations on the spike protein. These observations call for an urgent need to characterize the effects of these variants’ mutations on phenotype features like contagiousness and antigenicity. With this aim, we performed molecular dynamics simulations on a selected set of possible spike variants in order to assess the stabilizing effect of particular amino acid substitutions on the molecular complex. We specifically focused on the mutations that are both characteristic of the top three most worrying variants at the moment, i.e the English, South African, and Amazonian ones, and that occur at the molecular interface between SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its human ACE2 receptor. We characterize these variants’ effect in terms of (i) residue mobility, (ii) compactness, studying the network of interactions at the interface, and (iii) variation of shape complementarity via expanding the molecular surfaces in the Zernike basis. Overall, our analyses highlighted greater stability of the three variant complexes with respect to both the wild type and two negative control systems, especially for the English and Amazonian variants. In addition, in the three variants, we investigate the effects a not-yet observed mutation in position 501 could provoke on complex stability. We found that a phenylalanine mutation behaves similarly to the English variant and may cooperate in further increasing the stability of the South African one, hinting at the need for careful surveillance for the emergence of these mutations in the population. Ultimately, we show that the proposed observables describe key features for the stability of the ACE2-spike complex and can help to monitor further possible spike variants.

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (1) ◽  
pp. 557
Fedor Grabovenko ◽  
Liudmila Nikiforova ◽  
Bogdan Yanenko ◽  
Andrey Ulitin ◽  
Eugene Loktyushov ◽  

Nucleic acid aptamers specific to S-protein and its receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2) virions are of high interest as potential inhibitors of viral infection and recognizing elements in biosensors. Development of specific therapy and biosensors is complicated by an emergence of new viral strains bearing amino acid substitutions and probable differences in glycosylation sites. Here, we studied affinity of a set of aptamers to two Wuhan-type RBD of S-protein expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cell line and Pichia pastoris that differ in glycosylation patterns. The expression system for the RBD protein has significant effects, both on values of dissociation constants and relative efficacy of the aptamer binding. We propose glycosylation of the RBD as the main force for observed differences. Moreover, affinity of a several aptamers was affected by a site of biotinylation. Thus, the robustness of modified aptamers toward new virus variants should be carefully tested.

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