Spike-heparan sulfate interactions in...

All cells are surrounded by a glycocalyx composed of various types of glycoconjugates, glycoproteins, glycosphingolipids, and proteoglycans which are exploited by many viruses as attachment factors and receptors for infections. One of the major components of the cellular glycocalyx participates in the infection of SARS-CoV-2, facilitating the so-called open conformation of the spike protein, which is required for binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).

In this timely review, the authors decipher the close coordination between host cell heparan sulfate and asparagine-linked glycans on the viral spike protein that enables binding, leading to subsequent infection.