JOURNAL ARTICLE

Endocytosis of the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV spike protein together with virus receptor ACE2

Shunxin Wang, Feng Guo, Kangtai Liu, Hongliang Wang, Shuan Rao, Peng Yang, Chengyu Jiang
Virus Research 2008, 136 (1): 8-15
18554741
Cell entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is mediated by the viral spike (S) protein. Amino acids 319-510 on the S protein have been mapped as the receptor-binding domain (RBD), which mediates binding to the SARS-CoV receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on SARS-CoV susceptible cells. In this study, we expressed a fusion protein containing the human codon-optimized RBD of the SARS-CoV spike protein linked to the Fc portion of human IgG1 (named RBD-Fc) in HEK293 cells. The RBD-Fc protein was purified by affinity chromatography. The flow cytometry assay showed that the purified RBD-Fc protein could bind to ACE2. We demonstrated that the RBD spike protein alone could be internalized into SARS-CoV susceptible cells together with ACE2. We also showed that the removal of N-glycans from the RBD spike protein did not abolish this phenomenon. Our discoveries may have some implications for the development of the SARS vaccine.

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