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New Insights into the Effect of Residue Mutations on the Rotavirus VP1 Function Using Molecular Dynamic Simulations

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journal contribution
posted on 17.08.2020, 10:14 by Nabil Abid, Daniele Pietrucci, Marco Salemi, Giovanni Chillemi
Rotavirus group A remains a major cause of diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide. The permanent emergence of new genotypes puts the potential effectiveness of vaccines under serious questions. Thirteen VP1 structures with mutations mapping to the RNA entry site were analyzed using molecular dynamics simulations, and the results were combined with the experimental findings reported previously. The results revealed structural fluctuations in the protein–protein recognition sites and in the bottleneck of the RNA entry site that may affect the interaction of different proteins and delay the initiation of the viral replication, respectively. Altogether, the structural analysis of VP1 in the region crucial for the initiation of the viral replication, mainly the bottleneck site, may boost efforts to develop antivirals, as they might complement the available vaccines.