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      Dynamics of water-mediated interaction effects on the stability and transmission of Omicron

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          Abstract

          SARS-Cov-2 Omicron variant and its highly transmissible sublineages amidst news of emerging hybrid variants strengthen the evidence of its ability to rapidly spread and evolve giving rise to unprecedented future waves. Owing to the presence of isolated RBD, monomeric and trimeric Cryo-EM structures of spike protein in complex with ACE2 receptor, comparative analysis of Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron assist in a rational assessment of their probability to evolve as new or hybrid variants in future. This study proposes the role of hydration forces in mediating Omicron function and dynamics based on a stronger interplay between protein and solvent with each Covid wave. Mutations of multiple hydrophobic residues into hydrophilic residues underwent concerted interactions with water leading to variations in charge distribution in Delta and Omicron during molecular dynamics simulations. Moreover, comparative analysis of interacting moieties characterized a large number of mutations lying at RBD into constrained, homologous and low-affinity groups referred to as mutational drivers inferring that the probability of future mutations relies on their function. Furthermore, the computational findings reveal a significant difference in angular distances among variants of concern due 3 amino acid insertion (EPE) in Omicron variant that not only facilitates tight domain organization but also seems requisite for characterization of mutational processes. The outcome of this work signifies the possible relation between hydration forces, their impact on conformation and binding affinities, and viral fitness that will significantly aid in understanding dynamics of drug targets for Covid-19 countermeasures. The emerging scenario is that hydration forces and hydrophobic interactions are crucial variables to probe in mutational analysis to explore conformational landscape of macromolecules and reveal the molecular origins of protein behaviors.

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          SARS-CoV-2 Cell Entry Depends on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and Is Blocked by a Clinically Proven Protease Inhibitor

          Summary The recent emergence of the novel, pathogenic SARS-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in China and its rapid national and international spread pose a global health emergency. Cell entry of coronaviruses depends on binding of the viral spike (S) proteins to cellular receptors and on S protein priming by host cell proteases. Unravelling which cellular factors are used by SARS-CoV-2 for entry might provide insights into viral transmission and reveal therapeutic targets. Here, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 uses the SARS-CoV receptor ACE2 for entry and the serine protease TMPRSS2 for S protein priming. A TMPRSS2 inhibitor approved for clinical use blocked entry and might constitute a treatment option. Finally, we show that the sera from convalescent SARS patients cross-neutralized SARS-2-S-driven entry. Our results reveal important commonalities between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infection and identify a potential target for antiviral intervention.
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            VMD: Visual molecular dynamics

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              Cell entry mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2

              Significance A key to curbing SARS-CoV-2 is to understand how it enters cells. SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV both use human ACE2 as entry receptor and human proteases as entry activators. Using biochemical and pseudovirus entry assays and SARS-CoV as a comparison, we have identified key cell entry mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 that potentially contribute to the immune evasion, cell infectivity, and wide spread of the virus. This study also clarifies conflicting reports from recent studies on cell entry of SARS-CoV-2. Finally, by highlighting the potency and the evasiveness of SARS-CoV-2, the study provides insight into intervention strategies that target its cell entry mechanisms.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                syedazam2008@gmail.com , ssazam@qau.edu.pk
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                28 November 2023
                28 November 2023
                2023
                : 13
                : 20894
                Affiliations
                Computational Biology Lab, National Center for Bioinformatics (NCB), Quaid-i-Azam University, ( https://ror.org/04s9hft57) Islamabad, 45320 Pakistan
                Article
                48186
                10.1038/s41598-023-48186-2
                10684572
                38017052
                3179f8b3-dab8-40f8-80cf-cbe66750eb40
                © The Author(s) 2023

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 24 November 2022
                : 23 November 2023
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                © Springer Nature Limited 2023

                Uncategorized
                computational biology and bioinformatics,drug discovery
                Uncategorized
                computational biology and bioinformatics, drug discovery

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