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Saved Stories – None: The PRRA insert at the S1/S2 site modulates cellular tropism of SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 usage by the closely related Bat raTG13 | bioRxiv

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The PRRA insert at the S1/S2 site modulates cellular tropism of SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 usage by the closely related Bat raTG13

Shufeng Liu, Prabhuanand Selvaraj, Christopher Lien, Wells W. Wu, Chao-Kai Chou, Tony Wang

Abstract

Biochemical and structural analyses suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is well-adapted to infecting human and the presence of four residues (PRRA) at the S1/S2 site within the Spike protein may lead to unexpected tissue or host tropism. Here we report that SARS-CoV-2 efficiently utilized ACE2 of 9 species except mouse to infect 293T cells. Similarly, pseudoviruses bearing spike protein derived from either the bat raTG13 or pangolin GX, two closely related animal coronaviruses, utilized ACE2 of a diverse range of animal species to gain entry. Removal of PRRA from SARS-CoV-2 Spike displayed distinct effects on pseudoviral entry into different cell types. Strikingly, insertion of PRRA into the raTG13 Spike selectively abrogated the usage of horseshoe bat and pangolin ACE2 but conferred usage of mouse ACE2 by the relevant pseudovirus to enter cells. Together, our findings identified a previously unrecognized effect of the PRRA insert on SARS-CoV-2 and raTG13 spike proteins.

Paper in collection COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv

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