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Study record
Pascarella 2021First Published: 2021 Jul 21Updated Date: 2021 Jul 21

SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 Indian variants: are electrostatic potential changes responsible for a higher transmission rate? (preprint)

  1. Study Type
  2. Observational
  1. Study Aim
  2. Transmission
  3. Epidemiology
  4. Mechanism
  1. Study Design
  2. Other
  1. Intervention Assignment
  2. Not Applicable
Reference record

SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 Indian variants: are electrostatic potential changes responsible for a higher transmission rate? (preprint)

Pascarella S, Ciccozzi M, Zella D, Bianchi M, Benedetti F, Broccolo F, Cauda R, Caruso A, Angeletti S, Giovanetti M, Cassone A
Unpublished article (preprint)
Report Results
Lineage B.1.617+, also known as G/452R.V3, is a recently described SARS-CoV-2 variant under investigation (VUI) firstly identified in October 2020 in India. As of May 2021, three sublineages labelled as B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3 have been already identified, and their potential impact on the current pandemic is being studied. This variant has 13 amino acid changes, three in its spike protein, which are currently of particular concern: E484Q, L452R and P681R. Here we report a major effect of the mutations characterizing this lineage, represented by a marked alteration of the surface electrostatic potential (EP) of the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of the spike protein. Enhanced RBD-EP is particularly noticeable in the B.1.617.2 sublineage, which shows multiple replacements of neutral or negatively-charged amino acids with positively-charged amino acids. We here hypothesize that this EP change can favor the interaction between the B.1.617+ RBD and the negatively-charged ACE2 thus conferring a potential increase in the virus transmission.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest. [Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been peer reviewed. Refer to the original preprint or preprint server for specific information about the individual preprint.]
Reference record

SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 Indian variants: are electrostatic potential changes responsible for a higher transmission rate?

Pascarella S, Ciccozzi M, Zella D, Bianchi M, Benetti F, Benvenuto D, Broccolo F, Cauda R, Caruso A, Angeletti S, Giovanetti M, Cassone A
Journal article
Report Results
Lineage B.1.617+, also known as G/452R.V3 and now denoted by WHO with the Greek letters δ and κ, is a recently described SARS-CoV-2 variant under investigation (VUI) firstly identified in October 2020 in India. As of May 2021, three sublineages labelled as B.1.617.1 (κ), B.1.617.2 ((δ) and B.1.617.3 have been already identified, and their potential impact on the current pandemic is being studied. This variant has 13 amino acid changes, three in its spike protein, which are currently of particular concern: E484Q, L452R and P681R. Here we report a major effect of the mutations characterizing this lineage, represented by a marked alteration of the surface electrostatic potential (EP) of the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of the spike protein. Enhanced RBD-EP is particularly noticeable in the B.1.617.2 ((δ)) sublineage, which shows multiple replacements of neutral or negatively-charged amino acids with positively-charged amino acids. We here hypothesize that this EP change can favor the interaction between the B.1.617+ RBD and the negatively charged ACE2 thus conferring a potential increase in the virus transmission. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved