The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the COVID-19 outbreak that is affecting the entire planet. As the pandemic is still spreading worldwide, with multiple mutations of the virus, it is of interest and of help to employ computational methods for identifying potential inhibitors of the enzymes responsible for viral replication. Attractive antiviral nucleotide analogue RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) chain terminator inhibitors are investigated with this purpose. This study, based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, addresses the important aspects of the incorporation of an endogenously synthesized nucleoside triphosphate, ddhCTP, in comparison with the natural nucleobase cytidine triphosphate (CTP) in RdRp. The ddhCTP species is the product of the viperin antiviral protein as part of the innate immune response. The absence of the ribose 3'-OH in ddhCTP could have important implications in its inhibitory mechanism of RdRp. We built an in silico model of the RNA strand embedded in RdRp using experimental methods, starting from the cryo-electron microscopy structure and exploiting the information obtained by spectrometry on the RNA sequence. We determined that the model was stable during the MD simulation time. The obtained results provide deeper insights into the incorporation of nucleoside triphosphates, whose molecular mechanism by the RdRp active site still remains elusive.

On the Recognition of Natural Substrate CTP and Endogenous Inhibitor ddhCTP of SARS-CoV-2 RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase: A Molecular Dynamics Study

Parise, Angela;Ciardullo, Giada;Prejano, Mario;Marino, Tiziana
2022

Abstract

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the COVID-19 outbreak that is affecting the entire planet. As the pandemic is still spreading worldwide, with multiple mutations of the virus, it is of interest and of help to employ computational methods for identifying potential inhibitors of the enzymes responsible for viral replication. Attractive antiviral nucleotide analogue RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) chain terminator inhibitors are investigated with this purpose. This study, based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, addresses the important aspects of the incorporation of an endogenously synthesized nucleoside triphosphate, ddhCTP, in comparison with the natural nucleobase cytidine triphosphate (CTP) in RdRp. The ddhCTP species is the product of the viperin antiviral protein as part of the innate immune response. The absence of the ribose 3'-OH in ddhCTP could have important implications in its inhibitory mechanism of RdRp. We built an in silico model of the RNA strand embedded in RdRp using experimental methods, starting from the cryo-electron microscopy structure and exploiting the information obtained by spectrometry on the RNA sequence. We determined that the model was stable during the MD simulation time. The obtained results provide deeper insights into the incorporation of nucleoside triphosphates, whose molecular mechanism by the RdRp active site still remains elusive.
Humans
Antiviral Agents
Cryoelectron Microscopy
Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Nucleosides
Nucleotides
Ribose
RNA, Viral
COVID-19
Cytidine Triphosphate
RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase
SARS-CoV-2
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/338870
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