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Open AccessBrief Report

A Fusion Peptide in the Spike Protein of MERS Coronavirus

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AJ, UK
2
Biology Department, CASE, Texas A&M University, Texarkana, TX 75503, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(9), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11090825
Received: 22 July 2019 / Revised: 27 August 2019 / Accepted: 29 August 2019 / Published: 5 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Viruses: Surveillance, Prevention, Evolution and Control)
Coronaviruses represent current and emerging threats for many species, including humans. Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is responsible for sporadic infections in mostly Middle Eastern countries, with occasional transfer elsewhere. A key step in the MERS-CoV replication cycle is the fusion of the virus and host cell membranes mediated by the virus spike protein, S. The location of the fusion peptide within the MERS S protein has not been precisely mapped. We used isolated peptides and giant unilamellar vesicles (GUV) to demonstrate membrane binding for a peptide located near the N-terminus of the S2 domain. Key residues required for activity were mapped by amino acid replacement and their relevance in vitro tested by their introduction into recombinant MERS S protein expressed in mammalian cells. Mutations preventing membrane binding in vitro also abolished S-mediated syncytium formation consistent with the identified peptide acting as the fusion peptide for the S protein of MERS-CoV. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus; MERS; spike protein; peptide; membrane; fusion assay coronavirus; MERS; spike protein; peptide; membrane; fusion assay
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alsaadi, E.A.J.; Neuman, B.W.; Jones, I.M. A Fusion Peptide in the Spike Protein of MERS Coronavirus. Viruses 2019, 11, 825.

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