Conformational Change of the Corona virus Peplomer Glycoprotein at pH 8.0 (Potential Of Hydrogen) and 37°C Correlates with Virus Aggregation and Virus-Induced Cell Fusion
(JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, American Society for Microbiology)
We have obtained biochemical and electron microscopic evidence of conformational changes at pH 8.0 and 37°C in the corona virus spike glycoprotein E2 (S). The importance of these changes is reflected in the loss of virus infectivity, the aggregation of virions, and increased virus-induced cell fusion at the same pH. Corona virus (MHV-A59) infectivity is exquisitely sensitive to pH (Potential of Hydrogen). The virus was quite stable at pH 6.0 and 37°C (half-life, -24 h) but was rapidly and irreversibly inactivated by brief treatment at pH 8.0 and 37°C (half-life, -30 min). Virions treated at pH 8.0 and 37°C formed clumps and large aggregates.