Decoding the Proteome of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) for Cell-Penetrating Peptides Involved in Pathogenesis or Applicable as Drug Delivery Vectors

Synthetic or natural-derived cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) are vastly investigated as tools for the intracellular delivery of membrane-impermeable molecules. As viruses are obligate intracellular parasites, viral originated CPPs have been considered as suitable shuttling vectors for cargo transportation. A total of 310 CPPs were identified in the proteome of SARS-CoV-2. SCV2-CPPs span the regions involved in replication, protein-nucleotide and protein-protein interaction, protein-metal ion interaction, and stabilization of homo/hetero-oligomers. Computational analyses showed that the most optimal SCV2-CPP candidates as vectors for drug delivery are SCV2-CPP118, SCV2-CPP119, SCV2-CPP122, and SCV2-CPP129 of NSP12. Conclusively, the workflow of this study provides a platform for profound screening of viral proteomes as a rich source of bio-therapeutics or drug delivery carriers.