Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Glycan shield and epitope masking of a coronavirus spike protein observed by cryo-electron microscopy

Reputable Mentor II
Reputable Mentor II
Alexandra C Walls1, M Alejandra Tortorici2,3, Brandon Frenz1, Joost Snijder1, Wentao Li4, Félix A Rey2,3, Frank DiMaio1, Berend-Jan Bosch4 & David Veesler1
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (2016) doi:10.1038/nsmb.3293
The threat of a major coronavirus pandemic urges the development of strategies to combat these pathogens. Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) is an α-coronavirus that can cause severe lower-respiratory-tract infections requiring hospitalization. We report here the 3.4-Å-resolution cryo-EM reconstruction of the HCoV-NL63 coronavirus spike glycoprotein trimer, which mediates entry into host cells and is the main target of neutralizing antibodies during infection. The map resolves the extensive glycan shield obstructing the protein surface and, in combination with mass spectrometry, provides a structural framework to understand the accessibility to antibodies. The structure reveals the complete architecture of the fusion machinery including the triggering loop and the C-terminal domains, which contribute to anchoring the trimer to the viral membrane. Our data further suggest that HCoV-NL63 and other coronaviruses use molecular trickery, based on epitope masking with glycans and activating conformational changes, to evade the immune system of infected hosts.
1. Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA. 2. Institut Pasteur, Unité de Virologie Structurale, Paris, France. 3. CNRS UMR 3569 Virologie, Paris, France. 4. Virology Division, Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Version history
Last update:
‎10-15-2021 11:04 AM
Updated by: