Here, we developed an L452R mutated Omicron variant (Omicron-L452R) and found that the Omicron-L452R variant rescued fusogenicity and strengthened the high infectivity by enhancing the cleavage of the spike protein. Notably, Omicron-L452R greatly enhanced the ability of Omicron to infect lung tissues of humanized ACE2 mice.
Furthermore, the Omicron-L452R variant dramatically enhanced glycolysis in host cells. Our data suggest that the decreased fusogenicity of the Omicron variant is due to a lack of the L452R mutation present in the Delta variant.
BA.2.11 (aka B.1.1.529.2.11) | Prevalent in #France
Key mutations: ORF1a:S2519P+S:L452R
COV-spectrum predicts a global growth advantage of 55% over BA.2 and 149% over BA.1.1 (sample size is low – these numbers are not reliable yet)
— Raj Rajnarayanan (@RajlabN) April 6, 2022