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      Receptor Recognition Mechanisms of Coronaviruses: a Decade of Structural Studies

      Journal of Virology
      American Society for Microbiology

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          Abstract

          Receptor recognition by viruses is the first and essential step of viral infections of host cells. It is an important determinant of viral host range and cross-species infection and a primary target for antiviral intervention. Coronaviruses recognize a variety of host receptors, infect many hosts, and are health threats to humans and animals. The receptor-binding S1 subunit of coronavirus spike proteins contains two distinctive domains, the N-terminal domain (S1-NTD) and the C-terminal domain (S1-CTD), both of which can function as receptor-binding domains (RBDs). S1-NTDs and S1-CTDs from three major coronavirus genera recognize at least four protein receptors and three sugar receptors and demonstrate a complex receptor recognition pattern. For example, highly similar coronavirus S1-CTDs within the same genus can recognize different receptors, whereas very different coronavirus S1-CTDs from different genera can recognize the same receptor. Moreover, coronavirus S1-NTDs can recognize either protein or sugar receptors. Structural studies in the past decade have elucidated many of the puzzles associated with coronavirus-receptor interactions. This article reviews the latest knowledge on the receptor recognition mechanisms of coronaviruses and discusses how coronaviruses have evolved their complex receptor recognition pattern. It also summarizes important principles that govern receptor recognition by viruses in general.

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          A previously unknown coronavirus was isolated from the sputum of a 60-year-old man who presented with acute pneumonia and subsequent renal failure with a fatal outcome in Saudi Arabia. The virus (called HCoV-EMC) replicated readily in cell culture, producing cytopathic effects of rounding, detachment, and syncytium formation. The virus represents a novel betacoronavirus species. The closest known relatives are bat coronaviruses HKU4 and HKU5. Here, the clinical data, virus isolation, and molecular identification are presented. The clinical picture was remarkably similar to that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and reminds us that animal coronaviruses can cause severe disease in humans.
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            A novel coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome.

            A worldwide outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has been associated with exposures originating from a single ill health care worker from Guangdong Province, China. We conducted studies to identify the etiologic agent of this outbreak. We received clinical specimens from patients in seven countries and tested them, using virus-isolation techniques, electron-microscopical and histologic studies, and molecular and serologic assays, in an attempt to identify a wide range of potential pathogens. None of the previously described respiratory pathogens were consistently identified. However, a novel coronavirus was isolated from patients who met the case definition of SARS. Cytopathological features were noted in Vero E6 cells inoculated with a throat-swab specimen. Electron-microscopical examination revealed ultrastructural features characteristic of coronaviruses. Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence staining revealed reactivity with group I coronavirus polyclonal antibodies. Consensus coronavirus primers designed to amplify a fragment of the polymerase gene by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to obtain a sequence that clearly identified the isolate as a unique coronavirus only distantly related to previously sequenced coronaviruses. With specific diagnostic RT-PCR primers we identified several identical nucleotide sequences in 12 patients from several locations, a finding consistent with a point-source outbreak. Indirect fluorescence antibody tests and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays made with the new isolate have been used to demonstrate a virus-specific serologic response. This virus may never before have circulated in the U.S. population. A novel coronavirus is associated with this outbreak, and the evidence indicates that this virus has an etiologic role in SARS. Because of the death of Dr. Carlo Urbani, we propose that our first isolate be named the Urbani strain of SARS-associated coronavirus. Copyright 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society
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              Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is a functional receptor for the SARS coronavirus

              Spike (S) proteins of coronaviruses, including the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), associate with cellular receptors to mediate infection of their target cells 1,2 . Here we identify a metallopeptidase, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) 3,4 , isolated from SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-permissive Vero E6 cells, that efficiently binds the S1 domain of the SARS-CoV S protein. We found that a soluble form of ACE2, but not of the related enzyme ACE1, blocked association of the S1 domain with Vero E6 cells. 293T cells transfected with ACE2, but not those transfected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 receptors, formed multinucleated syncytia with cells expressing S protein. Furthermore, SARS-CoV replicated efficiently on ACE2-transfected but not mock-transfected 293T cells. Finally, anti-ACE2 but not anti-ACE1 antibody blocked viral replication on Vero E6 cells. Together our data indicate that ACE2 is a functional receptor for SARS-CoV. Supplementary information The online version of this article (doi:10.1038/nature02145) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Virology
                J. Virol.
                American Society for Microbiology
                0022-538X
                1098-5514
                January 26 2015
                February 15 2015
                February 15 2015
                November 26 2014
                : 89
                : 4
                : 1954-1964
                Article
                10.1128/JVI.02615-14
                4338876
                25428871
                2196acf7-dd59-4fdf-8e8f-f834b5a52539
                © 2014
                History

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