SARS-CoV-2 is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, earlier known as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) when started in Wuhan China; and later it was officially named as COVID-19 global pandemic in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) by the WHO.
Coronavirus (CoV) belongs to the Cronoaviridae family and is divided into three types: α, β and γ. Alpha and beta are only pathogenic to mammals and gamma mainly causes bird infections. So far there are seven types of Human Coronavirus (HCoV) that cause human respiratory diseases: HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV andthe Novel Coronavirus (nCoV/COVID-19).
Novel Coronavirus structure: the coronavirus particles showed irregular shape with a diameter of about 60-220 nm. The coronavirus consists of a capsule of bilayer lipids, including Spike glycoprotein (S), Envelope protein (E), Membrane protein (M), and Nucleocapsid protein (N). Among them, S protein and N protein are the most important target proteins.
Nucleocapsid Protein (N Protein) in the most abundant protein in coronavirus and is highly conserved. N protein is a highly immunogenic phosphoprotein, in which N protein binds to viral RNA to form a shell (or capsid) around the enclosed nucleic acid. It is associated with the replication and regulation of cellular signaling pathways in the viral genome. Therefore, N protein is often used as a diagnostic tool for coronavirus and is a core ingredient for rapid diagnostic reagents in immunology. The N-protein also interacts with the viral membrane protein during viral assembly; assists in RNA synthesis and folding; plays a role in virus budding; and affects host cell responses, including cell cycle and translation.
Spike Glycoprotein (S Protein) is the crown on the coronavirus surface, located in the outermost layer of the virus, and is associated with its ability to infect. S proteins, which are responsible for the host cell membrane receptor binding and membrane fusion, are key targets for the design of the host and antibody. S Protein contains two subunits: S1 and S2.
Spike Glycoprotein S1 (S1 Protein) is a subunit of the S protein which contains the receptor binding domain (RBD). It therefore plays a key role in viral entry, being suitable for applications including enzyme kinetics studies, inhibitor screening, and selectivity profiling. The RBD binds strongly to ACE2 receptors and is an important target for virus attachment inhibitors, neutralizing antibodies, and vaccines.
Spike Glycoprotein S2 (S2 Protein) is a subunit of the S protein that mediates the fusion of the virion and cellular membranes. This process of membrane fusion is reliant on S protein cleavage, leading to activation of the S protein.
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE2) receptor is located in many major organs and is highly expressed in the lower respiratory tract, such as in type II alveolar cells of the lungs and stratified epithelial cells. It acts as an entry point for SARS-CoV-2 into cells, via an interaction with the S protein. ACE2 is therefore useful for protein-protein interaction studies.
Envelope Protein (E Protein) is a small, integral membrane protein involved in viral assembly, virion release, and pathogenesis.
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