Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine induces cell spikes similar to SARS-CoV-2's
Scientists from the University of Oxford and the University of Southampton report in the journal ACS Central Science that cells infected with the ChAdOx1 vaccine produce spike proteins on the cells similar to those produced by natural SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The spike protein of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which protrudes from the virus envelope, is the key structure responsible for infecting host cells. The S1 subunit helps bind the virus to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and the S2 subunit helps with membrane fusion with the host cell.
The virus spike protein is the main target of vaccines, but vaccines use different methods to target the spike protein. The Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines encode the full-length spike protein with two mutations for stability. Sinovac's vaccine uses an inactivated virus that presents the wild-type spike protein.
Most vaccines aim to elicit a robust immune response, mainly against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein that has several neutralizing epitopes. To enable this, many vaccines include mutations that ensure the spike protein is in the conformation before …
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