PerspectiveStructural Biology

Adaptation of SARS Coronavirus to Humans

Science  16 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5742, pp. 1822-1823
DOI: 10.1126/science.1118817

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In her Perspective, Holmes discusses the elucidation of a crystal structure reported by Li et al. (in the same issue) of the receptor-binding domain of the SARS coronavirus spike glycoprotein bound to its human receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The structure reveals how only a few of the many contacting amino acids in the large interface between the spike protein and receptor are critical determinants of the host range of coronavirus binding and entry.