Oct 13, 2020

In situ structural analysis of SARS-CoV-2 spike reveals flexibility mediated by three hinges

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Flexible spikes

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein enables viral entry into host cells by binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and is a major target for neutralizing antibodies. About 20 to 40 spikes decorate the surface of virions. Turoňová et al. now show that the spike is flexibly connected to the viral surface by three hinges that are well protected by glycosylation sites. The flexibility imparted by these hinges may explain how multiple spikes act in concert to engage onto the flat surface of a host cell.

Science, this issue p. 203.

By Beata Turoňová, Mateusz Sikora, Christoph Schürmann, Wim J. H. Hagen, Sonja Welsch, Florian E. C. Blanc, Sören von Bülow, Michael Gecht, Katrin Bagola, Cindy Hörner, Ger van Zandbergen, Jonathan Landry, Nayara Trevisan Doimo de Azevedo, Shyamal Mosalaganti, Andre Schwarz, Roberto Covino, Michael D. Mühlebach, Gerhard Hummer, Jacomine Krijnse Locker, Martin Beck.

Leave a reply