hrvatski jezikClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

COVID-19 infection and neurodegeneration: Computational evidence for interactions between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and monoamine oxidase enzymes

Hok, Lucija; Rimac, Hrvoje; Mavri, Janez; Vianello, Robert (2022) COVID-19 infection and neurodegeneration: Computational evidence for interactions between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and monoamine oxidase enzymes. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, 20 . pp. 1254-1263. ISSN 2001-0370

PDF - Published Version - article
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Although COVID-19 has been primarily associated with pneumonia, recent data show that its causative agent, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, can infect many vital organs beyond the lungs, including the heart, kidneys and the brain. The literature agrees that COVID-19 is likely to have long-term mental health effects on infected individuals, which signifies a need to understand the role of the virus in the pathophysiology of brain disorders that is currently unknown and widely debated. Our docking and molecular dynamics simulations show that the affinity of the spike protein from the wild type (WT) and the South African B.1.351 (SA) variant towards MAO enzymes is comparable to that for its ACE2 receptor. This allows for the WT/SA⋅⋅⋅MAO complex formation, which changes MAO affinities for their neurotransmitter substrates, thereby impacting their metabolic conversion and misbalancing their levels. Knowing that this fine regulation is strongly linked with the etiology of various brain pathologies, these results are the first to highlight the possibility that the interference with the brain MAO catalytic activity is responsible for the increased neurodegenerative illnesses following a COVID-19 infection, thus placing a neurobiological link between these two conditions in the spotlight. Since the obtained insight suggests that a more contagious SA variant causes even larger disturbances, and with new and more problematic strains likely emerging in the near future, we firmly advise that the presented prospect of the SARS-CoV-2 induced neurological complications should not be ignored, but rather requires further clinical investigations to achieve an early diagnosis and timely therapeutic interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brain amines ; Molecular dynamics simulations ; Neurodegeneration ; Neurotransmitters ; SARS-CoV-2 spike protein ; South African B.1.351 variant
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Chemistry
Divisions: Division of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Inovativna rješenja u katalitičkim proizvodnim procesima za potrebe farmaceutske industrijeKirin, SrećkoKK.
Depositing User: Sofija Konjević
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2022 09:46
DOI: 10.1016/j.csbj.2022.02.020

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Increase Font
Decrease Font
Dyslexic Font