Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed
COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights into Structure, Function, and hACE2 Receptor Recognition by the SARS-CoV-2
: Received: 14 May 2020 / Approved: 15 May 2020 / Online: 15 May 2020 (18:04:23 CEST)
: Received: 9 July 2020 / Approved: 10 July 2020 / Online: 10 July 2020 (16:21:17 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerging, highly transmissible, and pathogenic coronavirus in humans, which has caused global public health emergency and economic crisis. To date, millions of infections and thousands of deaths have been reported worldwide, and the numbers continue to rise. Currently, there is no specific drug or vaccine against this deadly virus; therefore, there is a pressing need to understand the mechanism through which this deadly virus enters the host cell. Viral entry into the host cell is a multistep process in which SARS-CoV-2 utilizes the receptor binding domain of the spike glycoprotein (S) to recognize ACE2 receptors on the human cells; this initiates the host cell entry by promoting the viral-host cell membrane fusion through large scale conformational changes in the S protein. Receptor recognition and fusion are critical and essential steps of viral infections and are key determinants of the viral host range and cross-species transmission. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the origin and evolution of SARS-CoV-2, roles of key viral factors and discuss the receptor recognition mechanisms of coronaviruses. We provide a comparative analysis of the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 S proteins, receptor-binding specificity, and discuss the differences in their antigenicity based on biophysical and structural characteristics. Finally, we dive into available medications, and the current COVID-19 treatment options, which will be beneficial for the scientific community as well as for the general public.
COVID-19; SARS-CoV; SARS-like coronavirus; 2019-nCoV; SARS-CoV-2; angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); neutralizing antibody
Biology and Life Sciences, Virology
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