Molecular dynamics analysis of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine against specific SARS-CoV-2’s pathogenicity factors

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Baysal Ö., Abdul Ghafoor N., Silme R. S. , Ignatov A. N. , Knıazeva V.

Plos One, vol.16, no.5, pp.1-15, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252571
  • Title of Journal : Plos One
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-15


The causative agent of the pandemic identified as SARS-CoV-2 leads to a severe respiratory illness similar to SARS and MERS with fever, cough, and shortness of breath symptoms and severe cases that can often be fatal. In our study, we report our findings based on molecular docking analysis which could be the new effective way for controlling the SARSCoV-2 virus and additionally, another manipulative possibilities involving the mimicking of immune system as occurred during the bacterial cell recognition system. For this purpose, we performed molecular docking using computational biology techniques on several SARSCoV-2 proteins that are responsible for its pathogenicity against N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. A similar molecular dynamics analysis has been carried out on both SARS-CoV-2 and anti-Staphylococcus aureus neutralizing antibodies to establish the potential of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine which likely induces the immune response against the virus. The results of molecular dynamic analysis have confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (PDB: 6M0J), RNA-binding domain of nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (PDB: 6WKP), refusion SARS-CoV-2 S ectodomain trimer (PDB: 6X79), and main protease 3clpro at room temperature (PDB: 7JVZ) could bind with N-acetyl-D-glucosamine that these proteins play an important role in SARS-CoV-2’s infection and evade the immune system. Moreover, our molecular docking analysis has supported a strong protein-ligand interaction of N-acetyl-Dglucosamine with these selected proteins. Furthermore, computational analysis against the D614G mutant of the virus has shown that N-acetyl-D-glucosamine affinity and its binding potential were not affected by the mutations occurring in the virus’ receptor binding domain. The analysis on the affinity of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine towards human antibodies has shown that it could potentially bind to both SARS-CoV-2 proteins and antibodies based on our predictive modelling work. Our results confirmed that N-acetyl-D-glucosamine holds the potential to inhibit several SARS-CoV-2 proteins as well as induce an immune response against the virus in the host.