Adaptation of the endemic coronaviruses HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E to the human host.

Virus Evolution
Diego ForniManuela Sironi


Four coronaviruses (HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-229E) are endemic in human populations. All these viruses are seasonal and generate short-term immunity. Like the highly pathogenic coronaviruses, the endemic coronaviruses have zoonotic origins. Thus, understanding the evolutionary dynamics of these human viruses might provide insight into the future trajectories of SARS-CoV-2 evolution. Because the zoonotic sources of HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E are known, we applied a population genetics-phylogenetic approach to investigate which selective events accompanied the divergence of these viruses from the animal ones. Results indicated that positive selection drove the evolution of some accessory proteins, as well as of the membrane proteins. However, the spike proteins of both viruses and the hemagglutinin-esterase (HE) of HCoV-OC43 represented the major selection targets. Specifically, for both viruses, most positively selected sites map to the receptor-binding domains (RBDs) and are polymorphic. Molecular dating for the HCoV-229E spike protein indicated that RBD Classes I, II, III, and IV emerged 3-9 years apart. However, since the appearance of Class V (with much higher binding affinity), around 25 years ago, limited gen...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.


Blastomycosis fungal infections spread through inhaling Blastomyces dermatitidis spores. Discover the latest research on blastomycosis fungal infections here.

Nuclear Pore Complex in ALS/FTD

Alterations in nucleocytoplasmic transport, controlled by the nuclear pore complex, may be involved in the pathomechanism underlying multiple neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia. Here is the latest research on the nuclear pore complex in ALS and FTD.

Applications of Molecular Barcoding

The concept of molecular barcoding is that each original DNA or RNA molecule is attached to a unique sequence barcode. Sequence reads having different barcodes represent different original molecules, while sequence reads having the same barcode are results of PCR duplication from one original molecule. Discover the latest research on molecular barcoding here.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.

Evolution of Pluripotency

Pluripotency refers to the ability of a cell to develop into three primary germ cell layers of the embryo. This feed focuses on the mechanisms that underlie the evolution of pluripotency. Here is the latest research.

Position Effect Variegation

Position Effect Variagation occurs when a gene is inactivated due to its positioning near heterochromatic regions within a chromosome. Discover the latest research on Position Effect Variagation here.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.


Microbicides are products that can be applied to vaginal or rectal mucosal surfaces with the goal of preventing, or at least significantly reducing, the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Here is the latest research on microbicides.

Related Papers

Advances in Virus Research
Victor Max CormanChristian Drosten
Journal of Clinical Virology : the Official Publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology
Frank EsperYung T Huang
© 2021 Meta ULC. All rights reserved