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Viruses 2012, 4(4), 557-580; doi:10.3390/v4040557
Review

Ready, Set, Fuse! The Coronavirus Spike Protein and Acquisition of Fusion Competence

 and *
Received: 15 March 2012; in revised form: 29 March 2012 / Accepted: 2 April 2012 / Published: 12 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Induced Membrane Fusion)
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Abstract: Coronavirus-cell entry programs involve virus-cell membrane fusions mediated by viral spike (S) proteins. Coronavirus S proteins acquire membrane fusion competence by receptor interactions, proteolysis, and acidification in endosomes. This review describes our current understanding of the S proteins, their interactions with and their responses to these entry triggers. We focus on receptors and proteases in prompting entry and highlight the type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) known to activate several virus fusion proteins. These and other proteases are essential cofactors permitting coronavirus infection, conceivably being in proximity to cell-surface receptors and thus poised to split entering spike proteins into the fragments that refold to mediate membrane fusion. The review concludes by noting how understanding of coronavirus entry informs antiviral therapies.
Keywords: coronavirus; virus entry; viral pathogenesis; spike protein; carcinoembryonic antigen; angiotensin converting enzyme 2; endocytosis; cathepsin; transmembrane protease; membrane fusion coronavirus; virus entry; viral pathogenesis; spike protein; carcinoembryonic antigen; angiotensin converting enzyme 2; endocytosis; cathepsin; transmembrane protease; membrane fusion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Heald-Sargent, T.; Gallagher, T. Ready, Set, Fuse! The Coronavirus Spike Protein and Acquisition of Fusion Competence. Viruses 2012, 4, 557-580.

AMA Style

Heald-Sargent T, Gallagher T. Ready, Set, Fuse! The Coronavirus Spike Protein and Acquisition of Fusion Competence. Viruses. 2012; 4(4):557-580.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Heald-Sargent, Taylor; Gallagher, Tom. 2012. "Ready, Set, Fuse! The Coronavirus Spike Protein and Acquisition of Fusion Competence." Viruses 4, no. 4: 557-580.



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