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Title: Sulfated Glycans Inhibit the Interaction of MERS-CoV Receptor Binding Domain with Heparin

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a zoonotic virus with high contagion and mortality rates. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are ubiquitously expressed on the surface of mammalian cells. Owing to its high negatively charged property, heparan sulfate (HS) on the surface of host cells is used by many viruses as cofactor to facilitate viral attachment and initiate cellular entry. Therefore, inhibition of the interaction between viruses and HS could be a promising target to inhibit viral infection. In the current study, the interaction between the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of MERS-CoV and heparin was exploited to assess the inhibitory activity of various sulfated glycans such as glycosaminoglycans, marine-sourced glycans (sulfated fucans, fucosylated chondroitin sulfates, fucoidans, and rhamnan sulfate), pentosan polysulfate, and mucopolysaccharide using Surface Plasmon Resonance. We believe this study provides valuable insights for the development of sulfated glycan-based inhibitors as potential antiviral agents.

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National Science Foundation
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