Department of Chemical Engineering; Health Research Institute
SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, is a new, highly pathogenic coronavirus, which is the third coronavirus to emerge in the past 2 decades and the first to become a global pandemic. The virus has demonstrated itself to be extremely transmissible and deadly. Recent data suggest that a targeted approach is key to mitigating infectivity. Due to the proliferation of cataloged protein and nucleic acid sequences in databases, the function of the nucleic acid, and genetic encoded proteins, we make predictions by simply aligning sequences and exploring their homology. Thus, similar amino acid sequences in a protein usually confer similar biochemical function, even from distal or unrelated organisms. To understand viral transmission and adhesion, it is key to elucidate the structural, surface, and functional properties of each viral protein. This is typically first modeled in highly pathogenic species by exploring folding, hydrophobicity, and isoelectric point (IEP). Recent evidence from viral RNA sequence modeling and protein crystals have been inadequate, which prevent full understanding of the IEP and other viral properties of SARS-CoV-2. We have thus experimentally determined the IEP of SARS-CoV-2. Our findings suggest that for enveloped viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, estimates of IEP by the amino acid sequence alone may be unreliable. We compared the experimental IEP of SARS-CoV-2 to variants of interest (VOIs) using their amino acid sequence, thus providing a qualitative comparison of the IEP of VOIs.
Joshi, P. U.,
Heldt, C. L.
Single-particle characterization of SARS-CoV-2 isoelectric point and comparison to variants of interest.
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