High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy and supercomputing have now made it possible to analyze in detail the infection mechanisms of coronaviruses. These viruses are notorious for attacking the respiratory tract of humans and animals.
A research team that included scientists from the University of Washington (UW), the Pasteur Institute and the University of Utrecht has obtained an atomic model of a coronavirus spike protein that promotes entry into cells. Analysis of the model is providing ideas for specific vaccine strategies. The study results are outlined in a recent UW Medicine-led study published in Nature. David Veesler, UW assistant professor of biochemistry, headed the project.
Structure that coronaviruses use to enter cells is unveiled