A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) associated with human to human transmission and severe human infection has been recently reported from the city of Wuhan in China. This new virus belongs to the Betacoronavirus Genus, which also includes SARS CoV (2003) and MERS CoV (2012).The sequence similarity between 2019-nCoV and MERS-CoV is 40%, while that between 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV is 70%.
What are Coronaviruses
Coronaviruses are a collection of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the virus can cause respiratory infections which are typically mild including the common cold but rarer forms like SARS and MERS can be lethal. They are large, enveloped, positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. They have the largest genome among all RNA viruses, typically ranging from 27 to 32kb.
Antigens of coronavirus
The genome of coronavirus encodes the envelope protein, the spike protein, the nucleocapsid protein, and the membrane protein.
The spike protein is the most important surface protein. The main functions for the Spike protein is summarized below:
a. The spike protein mediates receptor binding and membrane fusion.
b. The spike protein defines the range of the hosts and specificity of the virus.
c. The spike protein can be transmitted between different hosts through gene recombination or mutation of the receptor binding domain (RBD), leading to a higher mortality rate.
d. The spike protein is the main component to bind with the neutralizing antibody.
e. The spike protein is the key target for vaccine design.
The structure of spike protein
The spike protein is a large type I transmembrane protein containing two subunits, S1 and S2. S1 mainly contains a receptor binding domain (RBD), which is responsible for recognizing the cell surface receptor. S2 contains basic elements needed for the membrane fusion.
It¡¯s been reported that 2019-nCoV can infect the human respiratory epithelial cells through interaction with the human ACE2 receptor.
Abvigen is dedicated to infectious disease research. We started to develop relevant tools for coronaviruses research, including cDNA clones, antigens, and antibodies. The recombinant antigens we provide include the full length S protein (ECD), the S1 subunit, the S2 subunit, the S1 RBD, and the NP protein.