Chemiluminescence was used to test the susceptibility of the SARS-CoV-2 N and S proteins to oxidation by reactive oxygen species (ROS) at pH7.4 and pH8.5. The Fenton’s system generates various ROS (H2O2, ·OH, –OH, ·OOH). All proteins were found to significantly suppress oxidation (the viral proteins exhibited 25–60% effect compared to albumin). In the second system, H2O2was used both as a strong oxidant and as a ROS. A similar effect was observed (30–70%); N protein approached the effect of albumin at physiological pH (∼45%). In the O2.–generation system, albumin was most effective in the suppression of generated radicals (75%, pH7.4). The viral proteins were more susceptible to oxidation (inhibition effect no more than 20%, compared to albumin). The standard antioxidant assay confirmed the strong antioxidant capacity of both viral proteins (1.5–1.7- fold higher than albumin). These results demonstrate the effective and significant inhibition of ROS-induced oxidation by the proteins. Obviously, the viral proteins could not be involved in the oxidative stress reactions during the course of the infection. They even suppress the metabolites involved in its progression. These results can be explained by their structure. Probably, an evolutionary self-defense mechanism of the virus has been developed.

Fuente: Analytical Biochemistry
Available online 29 March 2023