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Virology. 2007 Oct 25;367(2):367-74. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

The S proteins of human coronavirus NL63 and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus bind overlapping regions of ACE2.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, New England Primate Research Center, Southborough, MA 01772-9102, USA.

Abstract

The cellular receptor for human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63), a group I coronavirus, is angiotensin-converting enzyme2 (ACE2). ACE2 is also the receptor for the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), a group II coronavirus. Here we describe the ability of HCoV-NL63 to utilize a number of ACE2 variants previously characterized as SARS-CoV receptors. Several ACE2 variants that reduced SARS-CoV S-protein association similarly reduced that of HCoV-NL63, whereas alteration of a number of solvent-exposed ACE2 residues did not interfere with binding by either S protein. One notable exception is ACE2 residue 354, at the boundary of the SARS-CoV binding site, whose alteration markedly inhibited utilization by the HCoV-NL63 but not SARS-CoV S proteins. In addition, the SARS-CoV S-protein receptor-binding domain inhibited entry mediated by the HCoV-NL63 S protein. These studies indicate that HCoV-NL63, like SARS-CoV, associates region of human ACE2 that includes a key loop formed by beta-strands 4 and 5.

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