Structural evolution of Delta lineage of SARS-CoV-2

Mohammad Mahmoudi Gomari, Parastoo Tarighi, Edris Choupani, Shadi Abkhiz, Masoud Mohamadzadeh, Neda Rostami, Esmaeil Sadroddiny, Soukayna Baammi, Vladimir N. Uversky, Nikolay V. Dokholyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the main obstacles in prevention and treatment of COVID-19 is the rapid evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. Given that Spike is the main target of common treatments of COVID-19, mutations occurring at this virulent factor can affect the effectiveness of treatments. The B.1.617.2 lineage of SARS-CoV-2, being characterized by many Spike mutations inside and outside of its receptor-binding domain (RBD), shows high infectivity and relative resistance to existing cures. Here, utilizing a wide range of computational biology approaches, such as immunoinformatics, molecular dynamics (MD), analysis of intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs), protein-protein interaction analyses, residue scanning, and free energy calculations, we examine the structural and biological attributes of the B.1.617.2 Spike protein. Furthermore, the antibody design protocol of Rosetta was implemented for evaluation the stability and affinity improvement of the Bamlanivimab (LY-CoV55) antibody, which is not capable of interactions with the B.1.617.2 Spike. We observed that the detected mutations in the Spike of the B1.617.2 variant of concern can cause extensive structural changes compatible with the described variation in immunogenicity, secondary and tertiary structure, oligomerization potency, Furin cleavability, and drug targetability. Compared to the Spike of Wuhan lineage, the B.1.617.2 Spike is more stable and binds to the Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) with higher affinity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1116-1140
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - Jan 31 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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