JOURNAL ARTICLE

Cleavage of the SARS coronavirus spike glycoprotein by airway proteases enhances virus entry into human bronchial epithelial cells in vitro

Yiu-Wing Kam, Yuushi Okumura, Hiroshi Kido, Lisa F P Ng, Roberto Bruzzone, Ralf Altmeyer
PloS One 2009, 4 (11): e7870
19924243

BACKGROUND: Entry of enveloped viruses into host cells requires the activation of viral envelope glycoproteins through cleavage by either intracellular or extracellular proteases. In order to gain insight into the molecular basis of protease cleavage and its impact on the efficiency of viral entry, we investigated the susceptibility of a recombinant native full-length S-protein trimer (triSpike) of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) to cleavage by various airway proteases.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: PURIFIED TRISPIKE PROTEINS WERE READILY CLEAVED IN VITRO BY THREE DIFFERENT AIRWAY PROTEASES: trypsin, plasmin and TMPRSS11a. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and amino acid sequencing analyses identified two arginine residues (R667 and R797) as potential protease cleavage site(s). The effect of protease-dependent enhancement of SARS-CoV infection was demonstrated with ACE2 expressing human bronchial epithelial cells 16HBE. Airway proteases regulate the infectivity of SARS-CoV in a fashion dependent on previous receptor binding. The role of arginine residues was further shown with mutant constructs (R667A, R797A or R797AR667A). Mutation of R667 or R797 did not affect the expression of S-protein but resulted in a differential efficacy of pseudotyping into SARS-CoVpp. The R667A SARS-CoVpp mutant exhibited a lack of virus entry enhancement following protease treatment.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that SARS S-protein is susceptible to airway protease cleavage and, furthermore, that protease mediated enhancement of virus entry depends on specific conformation of SARS S-protein upon ACE2 binding. These data have direct implications for the cell entry mechanism of SARS-CoV along the respiratory system and, furthermore expand the possibility of identifying potential therapeutic agents against SARS-CoV.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
19924243
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"