Tracking the evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) through genomic surveillance programs is undoubtedly one of the key priorities in the current pandemic situation. Although the genome of SARS-CoV-2 acquires mutations at a slower rate compared with other RNA viruses, evolutionary pressures derived from the widespread circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in the human population have progressively favored the global emergence, though natural selection, of several variants of concern that carry multiple nonsynonymous mutations in the spike glycoprotein. These are often placed in key sites within major antibody epitopes and may therefore confer resistance to neutralizing antibodies, leading to partial immune escape, or otherwise compensate infectivity deficits associated with other non-synonymous substitutions. As previously shown by other authors, several emerging variants carry recurrent deletion regions (RDRs) that display a partial overlap with antibody epitopes located in the spike N-terminal domain (NTD). Comparatively, very little attention had been directed towards spike insertion mutations prior to the emergence of the B.1.1.529 (omicron) lineage. This manuscript describes a single recurrent insertion region (RIR1) in the N-terminal domain of SARSCoV- 2 spike protein, characterized by at least 49 independent acquisitions of 1–8 additional codons between Val213 and Leu216 in different viral lineages. Even though RIR1 is unlikely to confer antibody escape, its association with two distinct formerly widespread lineages (A.2.5 and B.1.214.2), with the quickly spreading omicron and with other VOCs and VOIs warrants further investigation concerning its effects on spike structure and viral infectivity.

Emergence of a recurrent insertion in the N-terminal domain of the {SARS}-{CoV}-2 spike glycoprotein

Klevia Dishnica;Alejandro Giorgetti
2021

Abstract

Tracking the evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) through genomic surveillance programs is undoubtedly one of the key priorities in the current pandemic situation. Although the genome of SARS-CoV-2 acquires mutations at a slower rate compared with other RNA viruses, evolutionary pressures derived from the widespread circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in the human population have progressively favored the global emergence, though natural selection, of several variants of concern that carry multiple nonsynonymous mutations in the spike glycoprotein. These are often placed in key sites within major antibody epitopes and may therefore confer resistance to neutralizing antibodies, leading to partial immune escape, or otherwise compensate infectivity deficits associated with other non-synonymous substitutions. As previously shown by other authors, several emerging variants carry recurrent deletion regions (RDRs) that display a partial overlap with antibody epitopes located in the spike N-terminal domain (NTD). Comparatively, very little attention had been directed towards spike insertion mutations prior to the emergence of the B.1.1.529 (omicron) lineage. This manuscript describes a single recurrent insertion region (RIR1) in the N-terminal domain of SARSCoV- 2 spike protein, characterized by at least 49 independent acquisitions of 1–8 additional codons between Val213 and Leu216 in different viral lineages. Even though RIR1 is unlikely to confer antibody escape, its association with two distinct formerly widespread lineages (A.2.5 and B.1.214.2), with the quickly spreading omicron and with other VOCs and VOIs warrants further investigation concerning its effects on spike structure and viral infectivity.
Covid-19
Immune escape
Omicron
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1058141
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