The SARS-CoV-2 variants associated with infections in India, B.1.617, show enhanced spike cleavage by furin


The spike (S) glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that emerged in 2019 contained a suboptimal furin cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction with the sequence 681PRRAR/S686. This cleavage site is required for efficient airway replication, transmission, and pathogenicity of the virus. The B.1.617 lineage has recently emerged in India, coinciding with substantial disease burden across the country.

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