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Two Mutations Were Critical for Bat-to-Human Transmission of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.

Authors
  • Yang, Yang1
  • Liu, Chang1
  • Du, Lanying2
  • Jiang, Shibo3
  • Shi, Zhengli4
  • Baric, Ralph S5
  • Li, Fang6
  • 1 Department of Pharmacology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
  • 2 Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center, New York, New York, USA.
  • 3 Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center, New York, New York, USA Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology of Ministries of Education and Health, Shanghai Medical College and Institute of Medical Microbiology, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. , (China)
  • 4 Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China. , (China)
  • 5 Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
  • 6 Department of Pharmacology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Virology
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2015
Volume
89
Issue
17
Pages
9119–9123
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01279-15
PMID: 26063432
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

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.

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