UBC researchers unveil first molecular images of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 mutation

Using cryo-electron microscopy, UBC researchers have revealed the structure of the N501Y spike protein mutant, shown above (in blue) bound to two copies of the ACE2 receptor (in red). Using cryo-electron microscopy, UBC researchers have revealed the structure of the N501Y spike protein mutant, shown above (in blue) bound to two copies of the ACE2 receptor (in red).

UBC researchers unveil first molecular images of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 mutation

UBC researchers are the first in the world to publish structural images of the N501Y mutation on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein—a change believed to be partly responsible for the highly infectious nature and rapid spread of variant B.1.1.7.

The pictures, taken at near-atomic resolution, provide critical insight as to why the B.1.1.7 variant—first detected in the U.K and now accounting for a growing number of cases across Canada—is more infectious. The images also add to the growing body of data indicating that existing vaccines are likely to remain effective in preventing mild and severe cases caused by B.1.1.7....

https://news.ubc.ca/2021/05/03/ubc-researchers-are-the-first-in-the-world-to-publish-structural-images-of-the-n501y-mutation-on-the-sars-cov-2-spike-protein-a-change-believed-to-be-partly-responsible-for-the-highly-infectio/