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Arch Virol. 2010 Oct;155(10):1563-9. doi: 10.1007/s00705-010-0729-6. Epub 2010 Jun 22.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) proteins of different bat species confer variable susceptibility to SARS-CoV entry.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Abstract

The discovery of SARS-like coronavirus in bats suggests that bats could be the natural reservoir of SARS-CoV. However, previous studies indicated the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) protein, a known SARS-CoV receptor, from a horseshoe bat was unable to act as a functional receptor for SARS-CoV. Here, we extended our previous study to ACE2 molecules from seven additional bat species and tested their interactions with human SARS-CoV spike protein using both HIV-based pseudotype and live SARS-CoV infection assays. The results show that ACE2s of Myotis daubentoni and Rhinolophus sinicus support viral entry mediated by the SARS-CoV S protein, albeit with different efficiency in comparison to that of the human ACE2. Further, the alteration of several key residues either decreased or enhanced bat ACE2 receptor efficiency, as predicted from a structural modeling study of the different bat ACE2 molecules. These data suggest that M. daubentoni and R. sinicus are likely to be susceptible to SARS-CoV and may be candidates as the natural host of the SARS-CoV progenitor viruses. Furthermore, our current study also demonstrates that the genetic diversity of ACE2 among bats is greater than that observed among known SARS-CoV susceptible mammals, highlighting the possibility that there are many more uncharacterized bat species that can act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV or its progenitor viruses. This calls for continuation and expansion of field surveillance studies among different bat populations to eventually identify the true natural reservoir of SARS-CoV.

PMID:
20567988
DOI:
10.1007/s00705-010-0729-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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