Document Type : Original Article
Student Research Committee, Ahvaz J undishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran & Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
Department of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran & Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Medical Basic Sciences Research Institute, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a red alarm for global health, so researchers around the world are working on it to design an effective vaccine against it. Protein is one of the candidates for vaccine development which plays an important role in virus pathogenesis. Accordingly, this study was done to evaluate the critical characteristic of this protein as a vaccine candidate using in-silico analysis.
Methods: The sequence of SARS-CoV-2-associated E protein was recruited from NCBI and subjected to the IEDB software to evaluate the most potent epitopes. The capacity of the interactions of HLA-I and HLA-II molecules with selective peptides was studied using IEBD tool kit. The E protein sequence was subjected to B cell and T cell tests to realize the most promising peptides that could act as COVID-19 vaccine.
Results: Among the tested peptides for the T cell-test, this study found two interesting epitopes: VSEETGTLI and LTALRLCAY that exhibit high binding affinity as a strong indicator to HLA-I and HLA-II alleles together. The results of the analysis demonstrated that some epitopes in the E protein have a relatively higher immunogenicity score based on interaction with HLA-II, such as SEETGTLIVNSVLLF, TLIVNSVLLFLAFVV, LAFVVFLLVTLAILT, LAILTALRLCAYCCN, and SVLLFLAFVVFLLVT. Furthermore, two sequences (FVSEET and PSFYVYSRVKNLNSSRVP) were reported as the selective linear epitopes for B cell, on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 E protein and being Immunogenic.
Conclusion: Since E protein can stimulate favorable immune responses, T and B- cell responses, its evaluation in patients with COVID-19 is of a great importance.