The SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein as a Drug and Vaccine Target: Structural Insights into Its Complexes with ACE2 and Antibodies.Cells. 2020 10 22; 9(11)C
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, has so far resulted in more than 1.1 M deaths and 40 M cases worldwide with no confirmed remedy yet available. Since the first outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019, researchers across the globe have been in a race to develop therapies and vaccines against the disease. SARS-CoV-2, similar to other previously identified Coronaviridae family members, encodes several structural proteins, such as spike, envelope, membrane, and nucleocapsid, that are responsible for host penetration, binding, recycling, and pathogenesis. Structural biology has been a key player in understanding the viral infection mechanism and in developing intervention strategies against the new coronavirus. The spike glycoprotein has drawn considerable attention as a means to block viral entry owing to its interactions with the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which acts as a receptor. Here, we review the current knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 and its interactions with ACE2 and antibodies. Structural information of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and its complexes with ACE2 and antibodies can provide key input for the development of therapies and vaccines against the new coronavirus.