- freely available
Ready, Set, Fuse! The Coronavirus Spike Protein and Acquisition of Fusion Competence
AbstractCoronavirus-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.
Share & Cite This Article
Export to BibTeX | EndNote
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.View more citation formats
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.