Structural Similarity Analysis of Spike Proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and Other SARS-related Coronaviruses
YoungJoon ParkKyuBum Kwack


Objectives Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has high infectivity in humans, attributed to the strong affinity of its spike (S) protein to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Here, we analyzed the structural similarity of the S protein between SARS-CoV-2 and other SARS-related coronaviruses (CoVs). Methods We performed multiple alignment analysis of nine amino acid sequences of CoV S proteins from NCBI with MAFFT web-based software, followed by phylogeny analysis. Three-dimensional structure modeling was performed by SWISS-MODEL. We calculated the template modeling score between the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 and that of other SARS-related CoVs. Results The S1 domain of the unclassified CoV RaTG13 (the host of which is the intermediate horseshoe bat) was structurally very similar to that of SARS-CoV-2, implying that RaTG13 could be the origin of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the folding property of the entire S protein was nearly the same between SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 after the PRRA amino acid insertion was removed from SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions RaTG13 could have a high binding affinity to ACE2, similar to SARS-CoV-2, and it is therefore highly likely to infect other animals. Therefore, massive resear...Continue Reading

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