Mechanism and evolution of human ACE2 binding by SARS-CoV-2 spikeMore about Open Access at the Crick
Spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 mediates viral entry into host cells by facilitating virus attachment and membrane fusion. ACE2 is the main receptor of SARS-CoV-2 and its interaction with spike has shaped the virus’ emergence from an animal reservoir and subsequent evolution in the human host. Many structural studies on the spike:ACE2 interaction have provided insights into mechanisms driving viral evolution during the on-going pandemic. This review describes the molecular basis of spike binding to ACE2, outlines mechanisms that have optimised this interaction during viral evolution, and suggests directions for future research.