Analyzing the interaction of human ACE2 and RBD of spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 in perspective of Omicron variant
Keywords:COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 variants, Omicron, receptor binding domain, human ACE2
The newly identified Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has steered concerns across the world due to the possession of a large number of mutations leading to high infectivity and vaccine escape potential. The Omicron variant houses 32 mutations in spike (S) protein alone. The viral infectivity is determined mainly by the ability of S protein Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) to bind to the human Angiotensin I Converting Enzyme 2 (hACE2) receptor. In this paper, the interaction of the RBDs of SARS-CoV-2 variants with hACE2 was analyzed by using protein-protein docking and compared with the novel Omicron variant. Our findings reveal that the Omicron RBD interacts strongly with hACE2 receptor via unique amino acid residues as compared to the Wuhan and many other variants. However, the interacting residues of RBD are found to be the same in Lamda (C.37) variant. This unique binding of Omicron RBD with hACE2 suggests an increased potential of infectivity and vaccine evasion potential of the new variant. The evolutionary drive of the SARS-CoV-2 may not be exclusively driven by RBD variants but surely provides for the platform for emergence of new variants.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Arijit Samanta, Syed Sahajada Mahafujul Alam, Safdar Ali, Mehboob Hoque
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