Core structure of S2 from the human coronavirus NL63 spike glycoprotein.
ABSTRACT Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) has recently been identified as a causative agent of acute respiratory tract illnesses in infants and young children. The HCoV-NL63 spike (S) protein mediates virion attachment to cells and subsequent fusion of the viral and cellular membranes. This viral entry process is a primary target for vaccine and drug development. HCoV-NL63 S is expressed as a single-chain glycoprotein and consists of an N-terminal receptor-binding domain (S1) and a C-terminal transmembrane fusion domain (S2). The latter contains two highly conserved heptad-repeat (HR) sequences that are each extended by 14 amino acids relative to those of the SARS coronavirus or the prototypic murine coronavirus, mouse hepatitis virus. Limited proteolysis studies of the HCoV-NL63 S2 fusion core identify an alpha-helical domain composed of a trimer of the HR segments N57 and C42. The crystal structure of this complex reveals three C42 helices entwined in an oblique and antiparallel manner around a central triple-stranded coiled coil formed by three N57 helices. The overall geometry comprises distinctive high-affinity conformations of interacting cross-sectional layers of the six helices. As a result, this structure is unusually stable, with an apparent melting temperature of 78 degrees C in the presence of the denaturant guanidine hydrochloride at 5 M concentration. The extended HR regions may therefore be required to prime the group 1 S glycoproteins for their fusion-activating conformational changes during viral entry. Our results provide an initial basis for understanding an intriguing interplay between the presence or absence of proteolytic maturation among the coronavirus groups and the membrane fusion activity of their S glycoproteins. This study also suggests a potential strategy for the development of improved HCoV-NL63 fusion inhibitors.
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ABSTRACT: Among different coronavirus genera, the receptor-binding S1 subunits of their spike proteins differ in primary, secondary, and tertiary structures. This study identified shared structural topologies (connectivity of secondary structural elements) in S1 domains of different coronavirus genera. The results suggest that coronavirus S1 subunits share a common evolutionary origin but have attained diverse sequences and structures following extensive divergent evolution. The results also increase understanding of the structures and functions of coronavirus S1 domains whose tertiary structures are currently unknown.Journal of Virology 12/2011; 86(5):2856-8. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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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.Viruses 04/2012; 4(4):557-80. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Interferometric type fiber-optic sensors have advantages of high sensitivity and can be employed to measure very small measurand. In this paper, a 3×3 coupler based demodulation using software approach is introduced and its advantages are presented. Based on this technique, mechanical tests are performed and the sensing arm of the interferometer is embedded along the neutral plane of the laminate. A quasi-impulse loading is applied and the total elongation of the embedded optical fiber is measured as a function of load position. When a delamination is present, the shift of neutral axis position can be clearly reflected in the fiber integral strain versus load position plot. Experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of detecting both the size and location of delamination patch with the proposed technique.Ndt & E International - NDT E INT. 01/2011; 44(5):469-476.