Preprint: Evidence for a mouse origin of the Omicron variant
Pre-outbreak Omicron mutations in the spike protein significantly overlap with mutations in mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2.
The molecular docking-based predictions suggested that the RBD of Omicron exhibited higher binding affinity for mouse ACE2 than that of RBD encoded in the reference SARS-CoV-2 genome, further suggesting an evolutionary history in mice (Fig. 5B). And as expected, the mutations detected in the RBD of the other four VOCs of SARS-CoV-2 as well as those of variants isolated from chronically infected human patients showed no apparent changes in their binding affinity for mouse ACE2 compared with the reference RBD.
Preprint: Evidence for a mouse origin of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant
Image by Tibor Janosi Mozes from Pixabay
** This post was originally published on December 17, 2021 **