Document Type


Publication Date



n this study, we combined all-atom MD simulations, the ensemble-based mutational scanning of protein stability and binding, and perturbation-based network profiling of allosteric interactions in the SARS-CoV-2 spike complexes with a panel of cross-reactive and ultra-potent single antibodies (B1-182.1 and A23-58.1) as well as antibody combinations (A19-61.1/B1-182.1 and A19-46.1/B1-182.1). Using this approach, we quantify the local and global effects of mutations in the complexes, identify protein stability centers, characterize binding energy hotspots, and predict the allosteric control points of long-range interactions and communications. Conformational dynamics and distance fluctuation analysis revealed the antibody-specific signatures of protein stability and flexibility of the spike complexes that can affect the pattern of mutational escape. A network-based perturbation approach for mutational profiling of allosteric residue potentials revealed how antibody binding can modulate allosteric interactions and identified allosteric control points that can form vulnerable sites for mutational escape. The results show that the protein stability and binding energetics of the SARS-CoV-2 spike complexes with the panel of ultrapotent antibodies are tolerant to the effect of Omicron mutations, which may be related to their neutralization efficiency. By employing an integrated analysis of conformational dynamics, binding energetics, and allosteric interactions, we found that the antibodies that neutralize the Omicron spike variant mediate the dominant binding energy hotpots in the conserved stability centers and allosteric control points in which mutations may be restricted by the requirements of the protein folding stability and binding to the host receptor. This study suggested a mechanism in which the patterns of escape mutants for the ultrapotent antibodies may not be solely determined by the binding interaction changes but are associated with the balance and tradeoffs of multiple local and global factors, including protein stability, binding affinity, and long-range interactions.


This article was originally published in Biomolecules, volume 12, in 2022.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.

Peer Reviewed



The authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.