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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression cloning of functional receptor used by SARS coronavirus.

We have expressed a series of truncated spike (S) glycoproteins of SARS-CoV and found that the N-terminus 14-502 residuals were sufficient to bind to SARS-CoV susceptible Vero E6 cells. With this soluble S protein fragment as an affinity ligand, we screened HeLa cells transduced with retroviral cDNA library from Vero E6 cells and obtained a HeLa cell clone which could bind with the S protein. This cell clone was susceptible to HIV/SARS pseudovirus infection and the presence of a functional receptor for S protein in this cell clone was confirmed by the cell-cell fusion assay. Further studies showed the susceptibility of this cell was due to the expression of endogenous angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) which was activated by inserted LTR from retroviral vector used for expression cloning. When human ACE2 cDNA was transduced into NIH3T3 cells, the ACE2 expressing NIH3T3 cells could be infected with HIV/SARS pseudovirus. These data clearly demonstrated that ACE2 was the functional receptor for SARS-CoV.[1]


  1. Expression cloning of functional receptor used by SARS coronavirus. Wang, P., Chen, J., Zheng, A., Nie, Y., Shi, X., Wang, W., Wang, G., Luo, M., Liu, H., Tan, L., Song, X., Wang, Z., Yin, X., Qu, X., Wang, X., Qing, T., Ding, M., Deng, H. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2004) [Pubmed]
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