Role of spike compensatory mutations in the interspecies transmission of SARS-CoV-2 - Aix-Marseille Université Access content directly
Journal Articles One Health Year : 2022

Role of spike compensatory mutations in the interspecies transmission of SARS-CoV-2


SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 in humans, can efficiently infect a large number of animal species. Like any virus, and particularly RNA viruses, SARS-CoV-2 undergoes mutations during its life cycle some of which bring a selective advantage, leading to the selection of a given lineage. Minks are very susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 and owing to their presence in mass rearing, they make a good model for studying the relative importance of mutations in viral adaptation to host species. Variants, such as the mink-selected SARS-CoV-2 Y453F and D614G or H69del/V70del, Y453F, I692V and M1229I were identified in humans after spreading through densely caged minks. However, not all mink-specific mutations are conserved when the virus infects human populations back. Many questions remain regarding the interspecies evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and the dynamics of transmission leading to the emergence of new variant strains. We compared the human and mink ACE2 receptor structures and their interactions with SARS-CVoV-2 variants. In minks, ACE2 presents a Y34 amino acid instead of the H34 amino acid found in the human ACE2. H34 is essential for the interaction with the Y453 residue of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. The Y453F mink mutation abolishes this conflict. A series of 18 mutations not involved in the direct ACE2 interaction was observed in addition to the Y453F and D614G in 16 different SARS-CoV-2 strains following bidirectional infections between humans and minks. These mutations were not random and were distributed into five different functional groups having an effect on the kinetics of ACE2-RD interaction. The interspecies transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to minks and back to humans, generated specific mutations in each species which improved the affinity for the ACE2 receptor either by direct mutation of the core 453 residue or by associated compensatory mutations.
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Dates and versions

hal-03818253 , version 1 (20-01-2023)





Roger Frutos, Nouara Yahi, Laurent Gavotte, Jacques Fantini, Christian Devaux. Role of spike compensatory mutations in the interspecies transmission of SARS-CoV-2. One Health, 2022, 15, pp.100429. ⟨10.1016/j.onehlt.2022.100429⟩. ⟨hal-03818253⟩
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