This study is an attempt to find a suitable therapy using antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) by identifying peptide-protein interaction of AMPs and nucleocapsid protein of SARS and SARS-CoV- 2. The AMPs were shortlisted from the APD3 database (Antimicrobial peptide database) based on various physicochemical parameters. The binding efficacy of AMPs was measured using the lowest energy score of the docked complexes with 10 selected AMPs. For SARS-CoV, AP00180 showed the best pose with a binding affinity value of − 6.4 kcal/mol. Prominent hydrogen bonding interactions were observed between Lys85 (nucleocapsid receptor) and Arg13 (antimicrobial peptide ligand) having the least intermolecular distance of 1.759 Å. For SARS-CoV-2, AP00549 was docked with a binding affinity value of − 3.4 kcal/mol and Arg119 and Glu14 of receptor nucleocapsid protein and ligand AMP having the least intermolecular distance of 2.104 The dynamic simulation was performed at 50 ns to check the stability of the final docked complexes, one with each protein. The two best AMPs were AP00180 (Human Defensin-5) for SARS and AP00549 (Plectasin) for SARS-CoV-2. From positive results of dynamic simulation and previously known knowledge that some AMPs interact with the nucleocapsid of coronaviruses, these AMPs might be used as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment regime of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS infection.
In-silico study of peptide-protein interaction of antimicrobial peptides potentially targeting SARS and SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein
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