Recent zoonotic spillover and tropism shift of a Canine Coronavirus is associated with relaxed selection and putative loss of function in NTD subdomain of spike protein
Martin, Darren P.
Whittaker, Gary R.
Goodman, Laura B.
Stanhope, Michael J.
GroupInstitute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine (Temple University)
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/7586
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AbstractA recent study reported the occurrence of Canine Coronavirus (CCoV) in nasopharyngeal swabs from a small number of patients hospitalized with pneumonia during a 2017-18 period in Sarawak, Malaysia. Because the genome sequence for one of these isolates is available, we conducted comparative evolutionary analyses of the spike gene of this strain (CCoV-HuPn-2018), with other available Alphacoronavirus 1 spike sequences. The most N-terminus subdomain (0-domain) of the CCoV-HuPn-2018 spike protein has sequence similarity to Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus (TGEV) and CCoV2b strains, but not to other members of the type II Alphacoronaviruses (i.e., CCoV2a and Feline CoV2-FCoV2). This 0-domain in CCoV-HuPn-2018 has evidence for relaxed selection pressure, an increased rate of molecular evolution, and a number of unique amino acid substitutions relative to CCoV2b and TGEV sequences. A region of the 0-domain determined to be key to sialic acid binding and pathogenesis in TGEV had clear differences in amino acid sequences in CCoV-HuPn-2018 relative to both CCoV2b (enteric) and TGEV (enteric and respiratory). The 0-domain of CCoV-HuPn-2018 also had several sites inferred to be under positive diversifying selection, including sites within the signal peptide. Downstream of the 0-domain, FCoV2 shared sequence similarity to the CCoV2b and TGEV sequences, with analyses of this larger alignment identifying positively selected sites in the putative Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) and Connector Domain (CD). Recombination analyses strongly implicated a particular FCoV2 strain in the recombinant history of CCoV-HuPn-2018 with molecular divergence times estimated at around 60 years ago. We hypothesize that CCoV-HuPn-2018 had an enteric origin, but that it has lost that particular tropism, because of mutations in the sialic acid binding region of the spike 0-domain. As selection pressure on this region was reduced, the virus evolved a respiratory tropism, analogous to other Alphacoronavirus 1, such as Porcine Respiratory Coronavirus (PRCV), that have lost this region entirely. We also suggest that signals of positive selection in the signal peptide as well as other changes in the 0-domain of CCoV-HuPn-2018 could represent an adaptive role in this new host and that this could be in part due to the different spatial distribution of the N-linked glycan repertoire for this strain.
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