Electrostatic Interactions Explain the Higher Binding Affinity of the CR3022 Antibody for SARS-CoV-2 than the 4A8 Antibody

Hung Nguyen, Pham Dang Lan, Daniel A. Nissley, Edward P. O'Brien, Mai Suan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)

Abstract

A structural understanding of the mechanism by which antibodies bind SARS-CoV-2 at the atomic level is highly desirable as it can tell the development of more effective antibodies to treat Covid-19. Here, we use steered molecular dynamics (SMD) and coarse-grained simulations to estimate the binding affinity of the monoclonal antibodies CR3022 and 4A8 to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and SARS-CoV-2 N-terminal domain (NTD). Consistent with experiments, our SMD and coarse-grained simulations both indicate that CR3022 has a higher affinity for SARS-CoV-2 RBD than 4A8 for the NTD, and the coarse-grained simulations indicate the former binds three times stronger to its respective epitope. This finding shows that CR3022 is a candidate for Covid-19 therapy and is likely a better choice than 4A8. Energetic decomposition of the interaction energies between these two complexes reveals that electrostatic interactions explain the difference in the observed binding affinity between the two complexes. This result could lead to a new approach for developing anti-Covid-19 antibodies in which good candidates must contain charged amino acids in the area of contact with the virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7368-7379
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume125
Issue number27
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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