Coronaviruses (CoVs) are enveloped nonsegmented positive-sense RNA viruses belonging to the family Coronaviridae that contain the largest genome among RNA viruses. Their genome encodes 4 major structural proteins, and among them, the Spike (S) protein plays a crucial role in determining the viral tropism. It mediates viral attachment to the host cell, fusion to the membranes, and cell entry using cellular proteases as activators. Several in vitro models have been developed to study the CoVs entry, pathogenesis, and possible therapeutic approaches. This article is aimed at summarizing the current knowledge about the use of relevant methodologies and cell lines permissive for CoV life cycle studies. The synthesis of this information can be useful for setting up specific experimental procedures. We also discuss different strategies for inhibiting the binding of the S protein to the cell receptors and the fusion process which may offer opportunities for therapeutic intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)