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Towards quantitative structural cell biology: in situ experiments and simulations discover flexible hinges in SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein.

MoPS series talk

Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 14:00 - 15:00
Speaker: Mateusz Sikora (Max Planck Institute, Frankfurt)
Location: via Zoom
Series: Life Sciences Seminar
Host: Leonid Sazanov

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein mediates viral entry to the host cells and initiates the infection. As the only exposed surface protein, it is a primary target for vaccine development. We combined cryo-electron tomography, subtomogram averaging, and molecular dynamics simulations to visualise and structurally characterise spike proteins on the surface of intact virions. We discover three hinges in the stalk of S protein that endow it with surprising flexibility and can be relevant in the process of binding to the surface of the host cell.


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