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Chem Phys . Binding of SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) and SARS-COV to human ACE2: Identifying binding sites and consequences on ACE2 stiffness

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  • Chem Phys . Binding of SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) and SARS-COV to human ACE2: Identifying binding sites and consequences on ACE2 stiffness


    Chem Phys


    . 2021 Sep 6;111353.
    doi: 10.1016/j.chemphys.2021.111353. Online ahead of print.
    Binding of SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) and SARS-COV to human ACE2: Identifying binding sites and consequences on ACE2 stiffness


    H M Nasrullah Faisal 1 , Kalpana S Katti 1 2 , Dinesh R Katti 1 2



    Affiliations

    Abstract

    The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) that is causing the massive global pandemic exhibits similar human cell invasion mechanism as the coronavirus SARS-CoV, which had significantly lower fatalities. The cell membrane protein Angiotensin-converting-enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the initiation point for both the coronavirus infections in humans. Here, we model the molecular interactions and mechanical properties of ACE2 with both SARS-CoV and COVID-19 spike protein receptor-binding domains (RBD). We report that the COVID-19 spike RBD interacts with ACE2 more strongly and at only two protein residues, as compared to multi-residue interaction of the SARS-CoV. Although both coronaviruses stiffen the ACE2, the impact of COVID-19 is six times larger, which points towards differences in the severity of the reported respiratory distress. The recognition of specific residues of ACE2 attachments to coronaviruses is important as the residues suggest potential sites of intervention to inhibit attachment and subsequent entry of the COVID-19 into human host cells.

    Keywords: ACE2; COVID-19; Molecular Dynamics; SARS-COV; SARS-COV-2; Spike protein.

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