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Spike Glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2: Characterization and Immune Cross Reactivity Findings

By 13th April 2020No Comments

The following study was conducted by Scientists from NHC Key laboratory of Systems Biology of Pathogens, Institute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China; Institute of Medicinal Plant Development (IMPLAD), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) and Peking Union Medical Collage (PUMC), Beijing, China; Hengshui Third People’s Hospital, Heibei, China. Study is published in Nature Communications Journal as detailed below.

Nature Communications; Volume 11, Article Number: 1620; (2020)

Characterization of Spike Glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 on Virus Entry and its Immune Cross-Reactivity With SARS-CoV


Since 2002, beta coronaviruses (CoV) have caused three zoonotic outbreaks, SARS-CoV in 2002–2003, MERS-CoV in 2012, and the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019. However, little is currently known about the biology of SARS-CoV-2. Here, using SARS-CoV-2 S protein pseudovirus system, we confirm that human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) is the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, find that SARS-CoV-2 enters 293/hACE2 cells mainly through endocytosis, that PIKfyve, TPC2, and cathepsin L are critical for entry, and that SARS-CoV-2 S protein is less stable than SARS-CoV S. Polyclonal anti-SARS S1 antibodies T62 inhibit entry of SARS-CoV S but not SARS-CoV-2 S pseudovirions. Further studies using recovered SARS and COVID-19 patients’ sera show limited cross-neutralization, suggesting that recovery from one infection might not protect against the other. Our results present potential targets for development of drugs and vaccines for SARS-CoV-2.


Nature Communications



Ou, X., Y. Liu, et al. (2020). “Characterization of spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 on virus entry and its immune cross-reactivity with SARS-CoV.” Nature Communications 11(1): 1620.