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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Site-specific recognition of SARS-CoV-2 nsp1 protein with a tailored titanium dioxide nanoparticle - elucidation of the complex structure using NMR data and theoretical calculation

Agback, Peter; Agback, Tatiana; Dominguez, Francisco; Frolova, Elena, I; Seisenbaeva, Gulaim A.; Kessler, Vadim G.


The ongoing world-wide Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic shows the need for new potential sensing and therapeutic means against the CoV viruses. The SARS-CoV-2 nsp1 protein is important, both for replication and pathogenesis, making it an attractive target for intervention. In this study we investigated the interaction of this protein with two types of titania nanoparticles by NMR and discovered that while lactate capped particles essentially did not interact with the protein chain, the aminoalcohol-capped ones showed strong complexation with a distinct part of an ordered alpha-helix fragment. The structure of the forming complex was elucidated based on NMR data and theoretical calculation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a tailored titanium oxide nanoparticle was shown to interact specifically with a unique site of the full-length SARS-CoV-2 nsp1 protein, possibly interfering with its functionality.

Published in

Nanoscale advances
2022, Volume: 4, number: 6, pages: 1527-1532