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Oxford and Halo scientists reveal LA and sugar binding to SARS-CoV-2 spike at atomic resolution

Pathogen-sugar interactions revealed by universal saturation transfer analysis

The surface proteins found on both pathogens and host cells mediate cell entry (and exit) and influence disease progression and transmission. Both types of proteins can bear host-generated posttranslational modifications, such as glycosylation, that are essential for function but can confound current biophysical methods used for dissecting key interactions. Several human viruses (including non-SARS coronaviruses) attach to host cell surface N-linked glycans that include forms of sialic acid (sialosides). There remains, however, conflicting evidence as to whether or how SARS-associated coronaviruses might use such a mechanism. In the absence of an appropriate biochemical assay, the ability to analyze the binding of such glycans to heavily modified proteins and resolve this issue is limited