The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has engaged the scientific community around the globe in the rapid development of effective therapeutics and vaccines. Owing to its crucial role in the invasion of the host cell, spike (S) glycoprotein is one of the major targets in these studies. The S1 subunit of the S protein (S1 protein) accommodates the receptor-binding domain, which enables the initial binding of the virus to the host cell. Being a heavily glycosylated protein, numerous studies have investigated its glycan composition. However, none of the studies have explored the isomeric glycan distribution of this protein. Furthermore, this isomeric glycan distribution has never been compared to that in S1 proteins of other coronaviruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, which were responsible for past epidemics. This study explores the uncharted territory of the isomeric glycan distribution in the coronaviruses’ S1 protein using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. We believe that our data would facilitate future investigations to study the role of isomeric glycans in coronavirus viral pathogenesis.

Fuente: Journal of Proteome Research