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Nathan McCann (University of Notre Dame)


Location: 129 DeBartolo Hall

Abstract:  The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein engages the human ACE2 receptor through a conformationally-dynamic receptor-binding domain (RBD) to initiate viral entry. Evidence supports a pathway for SARS-CoV-2 to enter the host through low-pH endosomes. To understand how Spike conformation is affected by a low-pH environment, cryo-electron microscopy structures at serological and endosomal pH were determined and revealed that Spike adopts a conformation with each RBD in the down position at a low pH. This was mediated through structural rearrangements in a newly-discovered pH-dependent refolding region. These results may also reveal new insights into how SARS-CoV-2 evades immune recognition as binding between Spike and a known anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike antibody was diminished.


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