Nature Communications, 17 July, 2020, DOI：
Cryo-EM analysis of the post-fusion structure of the SARS-CoV spike glycoprotein
Xiaoyi Fan, Duanfang Cao, Lingfei Kong & Xinzheng Zhang
Global emergencies caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and SARS-CoV-2 significantly endanger human health. The spike (S) glycoprotein is the key antigen and its conserved S2 subunit contributes to viral entry by mediating host-viral membrane fusion. However, structural information of the post-fusion S2 from these highly pathogenic human-infecting coronaviruses is still lacking. We used single-particle cryo-electron microscopy to show that the post-fusion SARS-CoV S2 forms a further rotated HR1-HR2 six-helix bundle and a tightly bound linker region upstream of the HR2 motif. The structures of pre- and post-fusion SARS-CoV S glycoprotein dramatically differ, resembling that of the Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) and other class I viral fusion proteins. This structure suggests potential targets for the development of vaccines and therapies against a wide range of SARS-like coronaviruses.