Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is one of the most fatal infectious diseases in cats. Currently, there is no effective treatment and the fatality rate is essentially 100%.
The disease results from infection by feline coronaviruses such as feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV). Coronavirus particles display large surface projections comprised of homotrimers of the spike glycoproteins. These spike glycoproteins mediate particle attachment to the cell surface receptors and facilitate the entry into the host cells.
This animation is based on the original paper “Cryo-EM analysis of a feline coronavirus spike protein reveals a unique structure and camouflaging glycans” published in PNAS by Dr Hsu and his team from Academia Sinica in Taiwan.
Dr Hsu and collaborators using cryo-EM techniques have solved the structure of a feline coronavirus spike protein. The original paper has been published in PNAS and it can be found here.
The 3D model of the S protein of FIPV presented in this paper showed a novel propeller-like homotrimer structure and equaly important revealed a large extend of glycosylation on the surface of the protein.