Exploring the binding capacity of lactic acid bacteria derived bacteriocins against RBD of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant by molecular simulations

Erol I., Kotil S. E., ORTAKCI F., Durdagi S.

Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/07391102.2022.2158934
  • Journal Name: Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, omicron variant, lactic acid bacteria, bacteriocins, protein-protein docking, Pediocin PA 1, Salivaricin B
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.The changes in the SARS-CoV-2 genome have resulted in the emergence of new variants. Some of the variants have been classified as variants of concern (VOC). These strains have higher transmission rate and improved fitness. One of the prevalent were the Omicron variant. Unlike previous VOCs, the Omicron possesses fifteen mutations on the spike protein's receptor binding domain (RBD). The modifications of spike protein's key amino acid residues facilitate the virus' binding capability against ACE2, resulting in an increase in the infectiousness of Omicron variant. Consequently, investigating the prevention and treatment of the Omicron variant is crucial. In the present study, we aim to explore the binding capacity of twenty-two bacteriocins derived from Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) against the Omicron variant by using protein-peptidedocking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The Omicron variant RBD was prepared by introducing fifteen mutations using PyMol. The protein-peptide complexes were obtained using HADDOCK v2.4 docking webserver. Top scoring complexes obtained from HADDOCK webserver were retrieved and submitted to the PRODIGY server for the prediction of binding energies. RBD-bacteriocin complexes were subjected to MD simulations. We discovered promising peptide-based therapeutic candidates for the inhibition of Omicron variant for example Salivaricin B, Pediocin PA 1, Plantaricin W, Lactococcin mmfii and Enterocin A. The lead bacteriocins, except Enterocin A, are biosynthesized by food-grade lactic acid bacteria. Our study puts forth a preliminary information regarding potential utilization of food-grade LAB-derived bacteriocins, particularly Salivaricin B and Pediocin PA 1, for Covid-19 treatment and prophylaxis. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.