The shape of a virus

BMBB researchers Hideki Aihara and Ke Shi collaborate to solve the 3-dimensional structure of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2
April 16, 2020


BMBB professor Hideki Aihara and staff member Ke Shi collaborated with College of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences faculty member Fang Li and staff to solve the x-ray crystal structure of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that is the causative agent of COVID19.  The adjacent image shows a representation of the SARS-CoV-19 spike protein in complex with its receptor.  In the image, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein  receptor-binding domain (cyan) is shown in complex with the human receptor ACE2 ectodomain (green).  These findings were reported recently in Nature ( and provides mechanistic insights into the initial step of virus entry into human cells and may contribute to the development of antiviral drugs, antibody tests and vaccines.