Elucidating the behavior of the SARS-CoV-2 virus surface at vapor-liquid interfaces using molecular dynamics simulation.

Elucidating the behavior of the SARS-CoV-2 virus surface at vapor-liquid interfaces using molecular dynamics simulation.

Publication date: Mar 26, 2024

Aerosols play a major role in the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The behavior of the virus within aerosols is therefore of fundamental importance. On the surface of a SARS-CoV-2 virus, there are about 40 spike proteins, which each have a length of about 20 nm. They are glycosylated trimers, which are highly flexible, due to their structure. These spike proteins play a central role in the intrusion of the virus into human host cells and are, therefore, a focus of vaccine development. In this work, we have studied the behavior of spike proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the presence of a vapor-liquid interface by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Systematically, the behavior of the spike protein at different distances to a vapor-liquid interface were studied. The results reveal that the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is repelled from the vapor-liquid interface and has a strong affinity to stay inside the bulk liquid phase. Therefore, the spike protein bends when a vapor-liquid interface approaches the top of the protein. This has important consequences for understanding the behavior of the virus during the dry-out of aerosol droplets.

Concepts Keywords
Aerosol airborne transmission
Dry molecular dynamics
Proc SARS-CoV-2
Protein vapor–liquid interface
Virus

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease IDO host
disease MESH bends
disease VO vaccine

Original Article

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