Si, L.; Meng, K.; Tian, Z.; Zhang, Z.; Soloveva, V.; Sun, J.; Li, H.; Fu, G.; Xia, Q.; Xiao, S.; Zhang, L.; Zhou, D. Triterpenoids Manipulate a Broad Range of Virus-Host Fusion via Wrapping the HR2 Domain Prevalent in Viral Envelopes. Preprints2018, 2018010177. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints201801.0177.v1
Si, L., Meng, K., Tian, Z., Zhang, Z., Soloveva, V., Sun, J., Li, H., Fu, G., Xia, Q., Xiao, S., Zhang, L., & Zhou, D. (2018). Triterpenoids Manipulate a Broad Range of Virus-Host Fusion via Wrapping the HR2 Domain Prevalent in Viral Envelopes. Preprints. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints201801.0177.v1
Si, L., Lihe Zhang and Demin Zhou. 2018 "Triterpenoids Manipulate a Broad Range of Virus-Host Fusion via Wrapping the HR2 Domain Prevalent in Viral Envelopes" Preprints. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints201801.0177.v1
Recent years have witnessed a breakthrough in identification of a trimer-of-hairpins motif within viral envelopes that triggers a broad range of virus-host fusion. Identifying a domain capable of controlling virus-host fusion remains a challenge due to sequence diversity, heavy glycan shielding and multiple conformations. Here, we report that HR2, a prevalent heptad repeat sequence comprising an alpha-helical coil anchored in viral membranes, is an accessible site to triterpenes, a class of widely distributed natural products. Triterpenes and their derivatives inhibit the entry of Ebola, HIV, and influenza A viruses with distinct structure-activity relationships. Specifically, triterpenoid probes, upon activation by ultraviolet light, capture the viral envelope via crosslinking the HR2 coil. Profiling the Ebola HR2 sequence using amino acid substitution, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy disclosed six constitutive residues that are accessible to triterpenoids, leading to wrapping of the hydrophobic helix by triterpenoids and blocking of the HR1-HR2 interaction, which is critical in the trimer-of-hairpins formation. This finding was also observed in the envelopes of HIV and influenza A viruses and might potentially extend to a broader variety of viruses. Our findings might translate into a shared mechanism that host utilize natural product triterpenoids to antagonize membrane fusion of respective viruses, complementing the current repertoire of antiviral agents.
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