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Article

Multivalent Display of SARS-CoV-2 Spike (RBD Domain) of COVID-19 to Nanomaterial, Protein Ferritin Nanocages

1
University of Gdansk, International Centre for Cancer Vaccine Science, ul. Kładki 24, 80-822 Gdansk, Poland
2
National Institute of Malaria Research, Dwarka, New Delhi 110077, India
3
Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland EH4 2XR, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ron Diskin
Biomolecules 2021, 11(2), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020297
Received: 24 January 2021 / Revised: 12 February 2021 / Accepted: 13 February 2021 / Published: 17 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein–Protein Interactions: Methods and Applications)
SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, has a devastating effect on our society, both in terms of quality of life and death rates; hence, there is an urgent need for developing safe and effective therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2. The most promising strategy to fight against this deadly virus is to develop an effective vaccine. Internalization of SARS-CoV-2 into the human host cell mainly occurs through the binding of the coronavirus spike protein (a trimeric surface glycoprotein) to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. The spike-ACE2 protein–protein interaction is mediated through the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein. Mutations in the spike RBD can significantly alter interactions with the ACE2 host receptor. Due to its important role in virus transmission, the spike RBD is considered to be one of the key molecular targets for vaccine development. In this study, a spike RBD-based subunit vaccine was designed by utilizing a ferritin protein nanocage as a scaffold. Several fusion protein constructs were designed in silico by connecting the spike RBD via a synthetic linker (different sizes) to different ferritin subunits (H-ferritin and L-ferritin). The stability and the dynamics of the engineered nanocage constructs were tested by extensive molecular dynamics simulation (MDS). Based on our MDS analysis, a five amino acid-based short linker (S-Linker) was the most effective for displaying the spike RBD over the surface of ferritin. The behavior of the spike RBD binding regions from the designed chimeric nanocages with the ACE2 receptor was highlighted. These data propose an effective multivalent synthetic nanocage, which might form the basis for new vaccine therapeutics designed against viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. View Full-Text
Keywords: ferritin nanocage; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; spike; vaccine; receptor-binding domain (RBD); molecular dynamic simulation; ACE2; protein–protein interaction; hydrogen bonds ferritin nanocage; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; spike; vaccine; receptor-binding domain (RBD); molecular dynamic simulation; ACE2; protein–protein interaction; hydrogen bonds
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kalathiya, U.; Padariya, M.; Fahraeus, R.; Chakraborti, S.; Hupp, T.R. Multivalent Display of SARS-CoV-2 Spike (RBD Domain) of COVID-19 to Nanomaterial, Protein Ferritin Nanocages. Biomolecules 2021, 11, 297. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020297

AMA Style

Kalathiya U, Padariya M, Fahraeus R, Chakraborti S, Hupp TR. Multivalent Display of SARS-CoV-2 Spike (RBD Domain) of COVID-19 to Nanomaterial, Protein Ferritin Nanocages. Biomolecules. 2021; 11(2):297. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020297

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kalathiya, Umesh, Monikaben Padariya, Robin Fahraeus, Soumyananda Chakraborti, and Ted R. Hupp 2021. "Multivalent Display of SARS-CoV-2 Spike (RBD Domain) of COVID-19 to Nanomaterial, Protein Ferritin Nanocages" Biomolecules 11, no. 2: 297. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020297

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