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A fusion peptide in the spike protein of MERS coronavirus

Alsaadi, E. A. J., Neuman, B. W. and Jones, I. M. (2019) A fusion peptide in the spike protein of MERS coronavirus. Viruses, 11 (9). 825. ISSN 1999-4915

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/v11090825

Abstract/Summary

Coronaviruses represent current and emerging threats for many species, including humans. Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is responsible for sporadic infections in mostly Middle Eastern countries, with occasional transfer elsewhere. A key step in the MERS-CoV replication cycle is the fusion of the virus and host cell membranes mediated by the virus spike protein, S. The location of the fusion peptide within the MERS S protein has not been precisely mapped. We used isolated peptides and giant unilamellar vesicles (GUV) to demonstrate membrane binding for a peptide located near the N-terminus of the S2 domain. Key residues required for activity were mapped by amino acid replacement and their relevance in vitro tested by their introduction into recombinant MERS S protein expressed in mammalian cells. Mutations preventing membrane binding in vitro also abolished S-mediated syncytium formation consistent with the identified peptide acting as the fusion peptide for the S protein of MERS-CoV.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
ID Code:86068
Uncontrolled Keywords:coronavirus, MERS, spike protein, peptide, membrane, fusion assay
Publisher:MDPI

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