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Virologica Sinica, 25 (1) : 36, 2010
Immunogenicity of the Spike Glycoprotein of Bat SARS-like Coronavirus*
1. State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China
2. Department of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
 Correspondence: zlshi@wh.iov.cn
A group of SARS-like coronaviruses (SL-CoV) have been identified in horseshoe bats. Despite SL-CoVs and SARS-CoV share identical genome structure and high-level sequence similarity, SL-CoV does not bind to the same cellular receptor as for SARS-CoV and the N-terminus of the S proteins only share 64% amino acid identity, suggesting there are fundamental differences between these two groups of coronaviruses. To gain insight into the basis of this difference, we established a recombinant adenovirus system expressing the S protein from SL-CoV (rAd-Rp3-S) to investigate its immune characterization. Our results showed that immunized mice generated strong humoral immune responses against the SL-CoV S protein. Moreover, a strong cellular immune response demonstrated by elevated IFN-γ and IL-6 levels was also observed in these mice. However, the induced antibody from these mice had weaker cross-reaction with the SARS-CoV S protein, and did not neutralize HIV pseudotyped with SARS-CoV S protein. These results demonstrated that the immunogenicity of the SL-CoV S protein is distinct from that of SARS-CoV, which may cause the immunological differences between human SARS-CoV and bat SL-CoV. Furthermore, the recombinant virus could serve as a potential vaccine candidate against bat SL-CoV infection.
  Published online: 5 Feb 2010
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