Short Linear Motifs (SLiMs) are functional protein microdomains that typically mediate interactions between a short linear region in one protein and a globular domain in another. Surface Plasmon Resonance assays have been performed to determine the binding affinity between PDZ domain of wild type human PALS1 protein and tetradecapeptides representing the SLiMs sequences of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 E proteins (E-SLiMs). SARS-CoV-2 E-SLiM binds to the human target protein with a higher affinity compared to SARS-CoV-1, showing a difference significantly greater than previously reported using the F318W mutant of PALS1 protein and shorter target peptides. Moreover, molecular dynamics simulations have provided clear evidence of the structural determinants driving this binding process. Specifically, the Arginine 69 residue in the SARS-CoV-2 E-SLiM is the key residue able to both enhance the specific polar interaction with negatively charged pockets of the PALS1 PDZ domain and reduce significantly the mobility of the viral peptide. These experimental and computational data are reinforced by the comparison of the interaction between the PALS1 PDZ domain with the natural ligand CRB1, as well as the corresponding E-SLiMs of other coronavirus members such as MERS and OCF43. Our results provide a model at the molecular level of the strategies used to mimic the endogenous SLiM peptide in the binding of the tight junctions of the host cell, explaining one of the possible reasons of the severity of the infection and pulmonary inflammation by SARS-CoV-2.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
- Human PALS1
- Molecular dynamics
- SARS-CoV E SLiMs
- Surface Plasmon resonance