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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2008, Article ID 326464, 8 pages
Research Article

Peptide Mimicrying Between SARS Coronavirus Spike Protein and Human Proteins Reacts with SARS Patient Serum

1Department of Molecular Science and Engineering, Center for Biomedical Industries, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 106, Taiwan
2Institute of Polymeric Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
3Center for Biomedical Industries, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 106, Taiwan
4Institute of Biomedical Technology, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
5Department of Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan

Received 1 October 2007; Accepted 24 December 2007

Academic Editor: Daniel Howard

Copyright © 2008 K.-Y. Hwa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Molecular mimicry, defined as similar structures shared by molecules from dissimilar genes or proteins, is a general strategy used by pathogens to infect host cells. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a new human respiratory infectious disease caused by SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV plays an important role in the virus entry into a cell. In this study, eleven synthetic peptides from the S protein were selected based on its sequence homology with human proteins. Two of the peptides D07 (residues 927–937) and D08 (residues 942–951) were recognized by the sera of SARS patients. Murine hyperimmune sera against these peptides bound to proteins of human lung epithelial cells A549. Another peptide D10 (residues 490–502) stimulated A549 to proliferate and secrete IL-8. The present results suggest that the selected S protein regions, which share sequence homology with human proteins, may play important roles in SARS-CoV infection.