Distinct conformational states of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein

Yongfei CaiBing Chen


Intervention strategies are urgently needed to control the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. The trimeric viral spike (S) protein catalyzes fusion between viral and target cell membranes to initiate infection. Here, we report two cryo-electron microscopy structures derived from a preparation of the full-length S protein, representing its prefusion (2.9-angstrom resolution) and postfusion (3.0-angstrom resolution) conformations, respectively. The spontaneous transition to the postfusion state is independent of target cells. The prefusion trimer has three receptor-binding domains clamped down by a segment adjacent to the fusion peptide. The postfusion structure is strategically decorated by N-linked glycans, suggesting possible protective roles against host immune responses and harsh external conditions. These findings advance our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 entry and may guide the development of vaccines and therapeutics.


Jun 1, 1979·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·V A ParsegianR P Rand
Jun 1, 1989·The Journal of Cell Biology·S M HurtleyC S Copeland
Aug 1, 1984·Canadian Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology = Revue Canadienne De Biochimie Et Biologie Cellulaire·R P Rand, V A Parsegian
May 20, 1999·Molecular Membrane Biology·W WeissenhornD C Wiley
Aug 31, 2000·Annual Review of Biochemistry·J J Skehel, D C Wiley
Jul 21, 2004·Journal of Computational Chemistry·Eric F PettersenThomas E Ferrin
Mar 7, 2008·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Gary FreyBing Chen
Feb 10, 2009·Nature Reviews. Microbiology·Lanying DuShibo Jiang
Feb 4, 2010·Acta Crystallographica. Section D, Biological Crystallography·Paul D AdamsPeter H Zwart
Apr 13, 2010·Acta Crystallographica. Section D, Biological Crystallography·P EmsleyK Cowtan
Jul 10, 2012·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·James M KovacsBing Chen
Jul 21, 2012·Viruses·Sandrine BelouzardGary R Whittaker
Sep 25, 2012·Journal of Structural Biology·Sjors H W Scheres
Sep 17, 2013·ELife·Andrew MorinPiotr Sliz
Oct 8, 2014·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Jean Kaoru Millet, Gary R Whittaker
Apr 14, 2015·Virology·Stephen C Harrison
Aug 19, 2015·Journal of Structural Biology·Alexis Rohou, Nikolaus Grigorieff
Nov 3, 2014·Annual Review of Virology·Margaret Kielian
Jun 4, 2016·Virology Journal·Hamzah A MohdZiad A Memish
Jun 28, 2016·Nature Reviews. Microbiology·Emmie de WitVincent J Munster
Oct 27, 2017·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Alexandra C WallsDavid Veesler
Mar 20, 2018·Advances in Virus Research·Victor M CormanChristian Drosten
Jan 13, 2019·Viruses·Arinjay BanerjeeKaren Mossman
Jun 27, 2019·Communications Biology·Thorsten WagnerStefan Raunser
Sep 17, 2019·Advances in Virus Research·M Alejandra Tortorici, David Veesler
Jan 12, 2020·Communications Biology·Thorsten WagnerStefan Raunser
Feb 23, 2020·Science·Daniel WrappJason S McLellan
Mar 11, 2020·Cell·Alexandra C WallsDavid Veesler
Apr 1, 2020·Nature·Jian ShangFang Li

❮ Previous
Next ❯


Aug 2, 2020·Nature Structural & Molecular Biology·Daming ZhouKuan-Ying A Huang
Aug 6, 2020·Nature Structural & Molecular Biology·Matthew McCallumDavid Veesler
Sep 13, 2020·Human Genomics·Antonio NovelliGiuseppe Novelli
Aug 2, 2020·Nature Structural & Molecular Biology·Xiaoli XiongJohn A G Briggs
Nov 8, 2020·Science·Kevin W NgGeorge Kassiotis
Dec 1, 2020·Expert Review of Vaccines·Taylor SicardJean-Philippe Julien
Dec 2, 2020·Biochemical Society Transactions·Dene R LittlerBenjamin S Gully
Oct 25, 2020·The Protein Journal·Mihaela Ileana Ionescu
Dec 15, 2020·Journal of Virology·Hanh T NguyenJoseph Sodroski
Dec 1, 2020·Frontiers in Immunology·Danushka K WijesundaraKeith J Chappell
Dec 22, 2020·Frontiers in Pharmacology·Concetta Di NataleDaniela Marasco
Jan 5, 2021·Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences·Giuseppina MarianoJulien R C Bergeron
Nov 3, 2020·Emerging Microbes & Infections·Vítor BorgesJoão Paulo Gomes
Nov 15, 2020·Viruses·Lin Wang, Ye Xiang
Jan 13, 2021·Nature Communications·Jarek JuraszekJohannes P M Langedijk
Feb 13, 2021·International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health·Lola Rueda RuzafaArik J Hone
Sep 23, 2020·Science·Christine ToelzerChristiane Schaffitzel
Feb 13, 2021·Molecules : a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry·Alonso Vivar-SierraMarco A Loza-Mejía
Feb 13, 2021·Science·Xavier Saelens, Bert Schepens
Feb 18, 2021·Cellular Microbiology·Mirko Cortese, Vibor Laketa
Feb 9, 2021·ELife·Palur V RaghuvamsiGanesh S Anand
Mar 7, 2021·Viruses·Mai KishimotoMichihito Sasaki
Mar 17, 2021·Wiener klinische Wochenschrift·Franz X Heinz, Karin Stiasny

❮ Previous
Next ❯

Methods Mentioned

gel filtration
protein folding

Software Mentioned


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

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Y. CaiBing Chen
BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Yongfei CaiBing Chen
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Alexandra C WallsDavid Veesler
© 2021 Meta ULC. All rights reserved