Activation of the SARS coronavirus 2 revealed: Infection researchers identify starting points for vaccine development and therapy

A viral spike protein mediates entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells and harbors an unusual activation sequence. This sequence is cleaved by the cellular enzyme furin and the cleavage is important for the infection of lung cells. These results define new starting points for therapy and vaccine research. In addition, they provide information on how coronaviruses from animals need to change in order to be able to spread in the human population.