Structure of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein postfusion

structure of sars cov 2 spike protein postfusion

Sumary of Structure of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein postfusion:

  • The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein is critical for membrane fusion and eventual viral infection.
  • Enveloped viruses use highly specific protein machinery to bring the membranes of both the virus and host cell close enough for membrane fusion.
  • However, the specialized protein machinery for membrane fusion and the molecular mechanism that promotes fusion activity remains unclear.
  • A new study published in PNAS proposes a higher resolution in situ structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in its postfusion state.
  • The imaging allowed the researchers to view the oligomerization states of spike protein on the viral membrane and may infer a potential mechanism of action for SARS-CoV-2’s ability to fuse with the membrane of a host cell.
  • Given the public health crisis worldwide, viral membrane fusion is under heavy investigation and serves as a major target for vaccines and other antiviral medications.
  • Our study will facilitate a better understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 fusion mechanism and be beneficial for viral entry inhibitor development,” wrote the researchers.
  • The study The team used cryo-electron tomography to observe the prefusion and postfusion spike proteins of several SARS-CoV-2 viruses inactivated by β-propiolactone.

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