Quantitative determination of mechanical stability in the novel coronavirus spike protein

Rodrigo A MoreiraAdolfo B Poma


We report on the novel observation about the gain in nanomechanical stability of the SARS-CoV-2 (CoV2) spike (S) protein in comparison with SARS-CoV from 2002 (CoV1). Our findings have several biological implications in the subfamily of coronaviruses, as they suggest that the receptor binding domain (RBD) (∼200 amino acids) plays a fundamental role as a damping element of the massive viral particle's motion prior to cell-recognition, while also facilitating viral attachment, fusion and entry. The mechanical stability via pulling of the RBD is 250 pN and 200 pN for CoV2 and CoV1 respectively, and the additional stability observed for CoV2 (∼50 pN) might play a role in the increasing spread of COVID-19.


Mar 31, 1999·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·M Carrion-VazquezJ M Fernandez
Jun 24, 2008·Biophysical Journal·Joanna I Sułkowska, Marek Cieplak
Aug 12, 2009·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Alejandro ValbuenaMariano Carrión-Vázquez
Oct 31, 2009·PLoS Computational Biology·Mateusz SikoraMarek Cieplak
Oct 12, 2010·Nucleic Acids Research·Mateusz SikoraMarek Cieplak
Mar 26, 2013·ACS Nano·Horacio V GuzmanRicardo Garcia
Oct 30, 2014·Physical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics·P AresP J de Pablo
Aug 1, 2015·Nanoscale·M Hernando-PérezP J de Pablo
Nov 18, 2015·Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation·Chad W HopkinsAdrian E Roitberg
Nov 18, 2015·Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation·James A MaierCarlos Simmerling
Jan 3, 2016·The Journal of Chemical Physics·Karol WołekMarek Cieplak
Oct 13, 2017·Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics : PCCP·Adolfo B PomaMarek Cieplak
Jun 16, 2018·Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics : PCCP·Adolfo B PomaPanagiotis E Theodorakis
Dec 25, 2019·Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling·Matías MartínezHoracio V Guzman
Feb 23, 2020·Science·Daniel WrappJason S McLellan
Mar 11, 2020·Cell·Alexandra C WallsDavid Veesler
Apr 21, 2020·Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics·Subramanian BoopathiPonmalai Kolandaivel
May 8, 2020·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Jian ShangFang Li
Jun 9, 2020·Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences·Byeongseon YangMichael A Nash

❮ Previous
Next ❯


Nov 27, 2020·Microorganisms·Souvik Ghosh, Yashpal S Malik
Jan 12, 2021·Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics·Pedro F N SouzaCleverson D T Freitas
Feb 4, 2021·Biology·Santiago Vilar, Daniel G Isom
Mar 7, 2021·Viruses·Mai KishimotoMichihito Sasaki
Jan 22, 2021·Nano Letters·Bálint KissMiklós S Z Kellermayer
Apr 4, 2021·Molecules : a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry·Mohamed E AbouelelaMohamed Salaheldin A Abdelkader
May 1, 2021·Vaccines·Yuxin YanCheng Heng Pang
Apr 30, 2021·Scientific Reports·Mohamed Raef Smaoui, Hamdi Yahyaoui
Jun 23, 2021·Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics·Amit KumawatJayant K Singh
Jul 14, 2021·The Journal of Physical Chemistry. B·Adolfo B PomaMai Suan Li

❮ Previous
Next ❯

Datasets Mentioned


Methods Mentioned


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.