Articles of Significant Interest in This Issue

Journal of Virology
Volume 95 • Number 21 • October 2021


Spotlight 13 October 2021
Articles of Significant Interest in This Issue
Natural isolates and recombinant SARS-CoV-2 viruses rapidly adapt to heparin binding in cultured cells. Shiliaev et al. (e01357-21) report that within a few passages, the viral spike protein acquires mutations in the N-terminal domain and in P1′ position of the furin cleavage site. These mutations are closely located on the protein surface, increasing positive charge in the region and the affinity of the virus to heparan sulfate. These mutations make SARS-CoV-2 mutants dramatically more infectious for the cultured cells and dominant in viral pools. Such viral mutants efficiently use glycosaminoglycans for primary attachment before the high-affinity interaction with the ACE2 receptor.