Two mutations were critical for bat-to-human transmission of middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus

Yang Yang, Chang Liu, Lanying Du, Shibo Jiang, Zhengli Shi, Ralph S. Baric, Fang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

To understand how Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) transmitted from bats to humans, we compared the virus surface spikes of MERS-CoV and a related bat coronavirus, HKU4. Although HKU4 spike cannot mediate viral entry into human cells, two mutations enabled it to do so by allowing it to be activated by human proteases. These mutations are present in MERS-CoV spike, explaining why MERS-CoV infects human cells. These mutations therefore played critical roles in the bat-to-human transmission of MERS-CoV, either directly or through intermediate hosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9119-9123
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of virology
Volume89
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, American Society for Microbiology.

Copyright:
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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