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      Engineering human ACE2 to optimize binding to the spike protein of SARS coronavirus 2

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          Abstract

          The spike protein S of SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) binds ACE2 on host cells to initiate entry, and soluble ACE2 is a therapeutic candidate that neutralizes infection by acting as a decoy. Using deep mutagenesis, mutations in ACE2 that increase S binding are found across the interaction surface, in the N90-glycosylation motif and at buried sites. The mutational landscape provides a blueprint for understanding the specificity of the interaction between ACE2 and S and for engineering high affinity decoy receptors. Combining mutations gives ACE2 variants with affinities that rival monoclonal antibodies. A stable dimeric variant shows potent SARS-CoV-2 and -1 neutralization in vitro. The engineered receptor is catalytically active and its close similarity with the native receptor may limit the potential for viral escape.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Deep mutational scanning: a new style of protein science.

          Mutagenesis provides insight into proteins, but only recently have assays that couple genotype to phenotype been used to assess the activities of as many as 1 million mutant versions of a protein in a single experiment. This approach-'deep mutational scanning'-yields large-scale data sets that can reveal intrinsic protein properties, protein behavior within cells and the consequences of human genetic variation. Deep mutational scanning is transforming the study of proteins, but many challenges must be tackled for it to fulfill its promise.
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            Susceptibility to SARS coronavirus S protein-driven infection correlates with expression of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 and infection can be blocked by soluble receptor

            The angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been identified as a receptor for the severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Here we show that ACE2 expression on cell lines correlates with susceptibility to SARS-CoV S-driven infection, suggesting that ACE2 is a major receptor for SARS-CoV. The soluble ectodomain of ACE2 specifically abrogated S-mediated infection and might therefore be exploited for the generation of inhibitors. Deletion of a major portion of the cytoplasmic domain of ACE2 had no effect on S-driven infection, indicating that this domain is not important for receptor function. Our results point to a central role of ACE2 in SARS-CoV infection and suggest a minor contribution of the cytoplasmic domain to receptor function.
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              Enrich: software for analysis of protein function by enrichment and depletion of variants

              Summary: Measuring the consequences of mutation in proteins is critical to understanding their function. These measurements are essential in such applications as protein engineering, drug development, protein design and genome sequence analysis. Recently, high-throughput sequencing has been coupled to assays of protein activity, enabling the analysis of large numbers of mutations in parallel. We present Enrich, a tool for analyzing such deep mutational scanning data. Enrich identifies all unique variants (mutants) of a protein in high-throughput sequencing datasets and can correct for sequencing errors using overlapping paired-end reads. Enrich uses the frequency of each variant before and after selection to calculate an enrichment ratio, which is used to estimate fitness. Enrich provides an interactive interface to guide users. It generates user-accessible output for downstream analyses as well as several visualizations of the effects of mutation on function, thereby allowing the user to rapidly quantify and comprehend sequence–function relationships. Availability and Implementation: Enrich is implemented in Python and is available under a FreeBSD license at http://depts.washington.edu/sfields/software/enrich/. Enrich includes detailed documentation as well as a small example dataset. Contact: dfowler@uw.edu; fields@uw.edu Supplementary Information: Supplementary data is available at Bioinformatics online.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Science
                Science
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                0036-8075
                1095-9203
                August 04 2020
                : eabc0870
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Orthogonal Biologics, Champaign, IL 61821, USA.
                [2 ]U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.
                [3 ]Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Center at Illinois, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
                [4 ]The Geneva Foundation, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA.
                Article
                10.1126/science.abc0870
                © 2020

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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