Receptor recognition is a major determinant of the host range, cross-species infections, and pathogenesis of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). A defined receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the SARS-CoV spike protein specifically recognizes its host receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). This article reviews the latest knowledge about how RBDs from different SARS-CoV strains interact with ACE2 from several animal species. Detailed research on these RBD/ACE2 interactions has established important principles on host receptor adaptations, cross-species infections, and future evolution of SARS-CoV. These principles may apply to other emerging animal viruses, including the recently emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). This paper forms part of a series of invited articles in Antiviral Research on "From SARS to MERS: 10 years of research on highly pathogenic human coronaviruses".
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by NIH grant R01AI089728. Computer resources were provided by the Basic Sciences Computing Laboratory of the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.
Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Middle East respiratory syndrome
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome
- Spike protein
- Virus evolution