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Comput Biol Med. 2021 Jul 27;136:104692. doi: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2021.104692. Online ahead of print.
COVID-19, a newly discovered type of coronavirus, is the cause of the pandemic infection that was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. One of the most critical problems in this regard is to identify innovative drugs that may reduce or manage this global health concern. Nanoparticles have shown a pivotal role in drug delivery systems in recent decades. The surface of nanoparticles could be covered by a layer composed of different biomolecules (e.g., proteins and macromolecules) following the incubation with a biological fluid. This protein-rich layer is called “Protein Corona.” In this study, an all-atom molecular dynamics simulation was used for investigating the monomeric B domain of the spike glycoprotein due to its role in the accessibility of the spike glycoprotein to single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). The interaction energy values between the carbon nanotube and B domain of the viral spike glycoprotein were evaluated. The obtained results, based on Lennard-Jones potentials, demonstrated that SWCNTs had an affinity to the B domain of the S1 subunit in the spike glycoprotein. The adsorption of SWCNTs on the B domain surface led to a significant change in solvent-accessible surface, internal hydrogen bonds, and finally in the tertiary structure, which could provide a reasonable method to impede the interaction between the angiotensin-converting enzyme II and SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. A decrease in the mean square displacement of the B domain was shown after the adsorption of SWCNTs as a result of increasing the hydrophobic-hydrophilic properties of the B domain. The arrangement of SWCNTs on the B domain surface and their interaction using the 2-acetamido-2-deoxy-β-d-glucopyranose group (988, 991, and 992) demonstrated that a change in the affinity of the S1 subunit could be used as a barrier to viral replication. The analysis of the SWCNT-B domain complex indicated that the presence of SWCNTs is able to cause alterations in the S1 subunit of the spike protein, and these nanotubes could be employed for further in-vitro and in-vivo antiviral studies. Also, SWCNTs are able to be utilized in drug delivery systems.