Mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor binding domain and their delicate balance between ACE2 affinity and antibody evasion.

Publication date: Mar 05, 2024

Intensive selection pressure constrains the evolutionary trajectory of SARS-CoV-2 genomes and results in various novel variants with distinct mutation profiles. Point mutations, particularly those within the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein lead to the functional alteration in both receptor engagement and monoclonal antibody (mAb) recognition. Here, we review the data of the RBD point mutations possessed by major SARS-CoV-2 variants and discuss their individual effects on ACE2 affinity and immune evasion. Many single amino acid substitutions within RBD epitopes crucial for the antibody evasion capacity may conversely weaken ACE2 binding affinity. However, this weakened effect could be largely compensated by specific epistatic mutations, such as N501Y, thus maintaining the overall ACE2 affinity for the spike protein of all major variants. The predominant direction of SARS-CoV-2 evolution lies neither in promoting ACE2 affinity nor evading mAb neutralization, but in maintaining a delicate balance between these two dimensions. Together, this review interprets how RBD mutations efficiently resist antibody neutralization and meanwhile how the affinity between ACE2 and spike protein is maintained, emphasizing the significance of comprehensive assessment of spike mutations.

Concepts Keywords
Lead ACE2 affinity
Mab antibody evasion
Mutations RBD mutation
N501y SARS-CoV-2
Proteins viral evolution

Semantics

Type Source Name
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
disease MESH Point mutations

Original Article

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