Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Novel Polybasic Cleavage Site in SARS-CoV-2 Genome Is Likely to Induce a Major Change in the RNA Secondary Structure

Version 1 : Received: 28 April 2020 / Approved: 30 April 2020 / Online: 30 April 2020 (14:13:36 CEST)

How to cite: Manzourolajdad, A.; Xu, Z.; Ebrahimi, D. Novel Polybasic Cleavage Site in SARS-CoV-2 Genome Is Likely to Induce a Major Change in the RNA Secondary Structure. Preprints 2020, 2020040535 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0535.v1). Manzourolajdad, A.; Xu, Z.; Ebrahimi, D. Novel Polybasic Cleavage Site in SARS-CoV-2 Genome Is Likely to Induce a Major Change in the RNA Secondary Structure. Preprints 2020, 2020040535 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0535.v1).

Abstract

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has claimed nearly 180,000 lives and continues to spread. There are currently no approved medications or vaccines for this new coronavirus. Studies have shown that the positive RNA genome of SARS-CoV-2 contains unique features, including a 12-base sequence inserted between the two subunits of viral receptor protein Spike. This inserted sequence facilitates the cleavage of Spike by the cellular proteases Furin and TMPRSS2, leading to the fusion of virus and host cell membranes. Current studies are mostly focused on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and its interacting cellular proteins ACE2, Furin, and TMPRSS2. RNA structural studies are limited and little is known about the potential impact of the 12-base sequence insert on the secondary structure of SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA and/or its transcripts. Here, by using local and global RNA secondary structure predictions, we show that the novel 12-base insert of SARS-CoV-2 genome likely induces a major RNA secondary structure change.

Subject Areas

SARS-CoV-2 RNA Secondary Structure; Spike Protein; Furin; TMPRSS2

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