Apr 1, 2020

Structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain bound to the ACE2 receptor

Nature
Jun LanXinquan Wang

Abstract

A novel and highly pathogenic coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has caused an outbreak in Wuhan city, Hubei province of China since December 2019, and soon spread nationwide and spilled over to other countries around the world1-3. To better understand the initial step of infection at an atomic level, we determined the crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) bound to the cell receptor ACE2 at 2.45 Å resolution. The overall ACE2-binding mode of the SARS-CoV-2 RBD is nearly identical to that of the SARS-CoV RBD, which also utilizes ACE2 as the cell receptor4. Structural analysis identified residues in the SARS-CoV-2 RBD that are critical for ACE2 binding, the majority of which either are highly conserved or share similar side chain properties with those in the SARS-CoV RBD. Such similarity in structure and sequence strongly argue for convergent evolution between the SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV RBDs for improved binding to ACE2, although SARS-CoV-2 does not cluster within SARS and SARS-related coronaviruses1-3,5. The epitopes of two SARS-CoV antibodies targeting the RBD are also analysed with the SARS-CoV-2 RBD, providing insights into the future identification of cross-reactive antibodies.

Mentioned in this Paper

Receptor Binding
CYP2C19*3 Allele
Binding (Molecular Function)
Cross Reactions
N protein, Severe acute respiratory syndrome virus
Coronaviridae
Binding Protein
SARS coronavirus
ACE2
Structure

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