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J Mol Biol. 2009 Dec 11;394(4):600-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2009.10.032. Epub 2009 Oct 21.

Identification of a new region of SARS-CoV S protein critical for viral entry.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is initiated by specific interactions between the SARS-CoV spike (S) protein and its receptor ACE2. In this report, we screened a peptide library representing the SARS-CoV S protein sequence using a human immunodeficiency virus-based pseudotyping system to identify specific regions that affect viral entry. One of the 169 peptides screened, peptide 9626 (S residues 217-234), inhibited SARS-CoV S-mediated entry of the pseudotyped virions in 293T cells expressing a functional SARS-CoV receptor (human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) in a dose-dependent manner (IC(50) approximately 11 microM). Alanine scanning mutagenesis was performed to assess the roles of individual residues within this region of S, which was previously uncharacterized. The effects included significant reductions in expression (K223A), viral incorporation (L218A, I230A, and N232A), and reduced viral entry (L224A, L226A, I228A, T231A, and F233A). Taken together, these results reveal a new region of the S protein that is crucial for SARS-CoV entry.

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