Characterization of heparin and severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike glycoprotein binding interactions

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Kim, So Young
Jin, Weihua
Sood, Amika
Montgomery, David W.
Grant, Oliver C.
Fuster, Mark M.
Fu, Li
Dordick, Jonathan S.
Woods, Robert J.
Zhang, Fuming
Issue Date
2020 , 2020-09-01
Biology , Chemistry and chemical biology , Chemical and biological engineering , Biomedical engineering
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Glycosaminoglycan binding motif at S1/S2 proteolytic cleavage site on spike glycoprotein may facilitate novel host cell entrycoronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a pandemic and continues to spread around the globe at an unprecedented rate. To date, no effective therapeutic is available to fight its associated disease, COVID-19. Our discovery of a novel insertion of glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-binding motif at S1/S2 proteolytic cleavage site (681–686 (PRRARS)) and two other GAG-binding-like motifs within SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (SGP) led us to hypothesize that host cell surface GAGs may interact SARS-CoV-2 SGPs to facilitate host cell entry. Using a surface plasmon resonance direct binding assay, we found that both monomeric and trimeric SARS-CoV-2 SGP bind more tightly to immobilized heparin (KD = 40 pM and 73 pM, respectively) than the SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV SGPs (500 nM and 1 nM, respectively). In competitive binding studies, the IC50 of heparin, tri-sulfated non-anticoagulant heparan sulfate, and non-anticoagulant low molecular weight heparin against SARS-CoV-2 SGP binding to immobilized heparin were 0.056 μM, 0.12 μM, and 26.4 μM, respectively. Finally, unbiased computational ligand docking indicates that heparan sulfate interacts with the GAG-binding motif at the S1/S2 site on each monomer interface in the trimeric SARS-CoV-2 SGP, and at another site (453–459 (YRLFRKS)) when the receptor-binding domain is in an open conformation. The current study serves a foundation to further investigate biological roles of GAGs in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Furthermore, our findings may provide additional basis for further heparin-based interventions for COVID-19 patients exhibiting thrombotic complications.
Antiviral Research, 181, 104873
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Full Citation
Characterization of heparin and severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike glycoprotein binding interactions, S.-Y. Kim, W. Jin, A. Sood, D. W. Montgomery, O. C. Grant, M. M. Fuster, L. Fu, J. S. Dordick, R. J. Woods, F. Zhang, R. J. Linhardt, Antiviral Research, 181, 104873, 2020.
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