Published on Thu Feb 20 2020

Pangolin homology associated with 2019-nCoV

Zhang, Z., Wu, Q., Zhang, T.

Pangolin-CoV is 91.02% and 90.55% identical at the whole genome level to 2019-nCoV and BatCoV RaTG13, respectively. The S1 protein is much more closely related to2019-n coV than RaTG 13.

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Abstract

To explore potential intermediate host of a novel coronavirus is vital to rapidly control continuous COVID-19 spread. We found genomic and evolutionary evidences of the occurrence of 2019-nCoV-like coronavirus (named as Pangolin-CoV) from dead Malayan Pangolins. Pangolin-CoV is 91.02% and 90.55% identical at the whole genome level to 2019-nCoV and BatCoV RaTG13, respectively. Pangolin-CoV is the lowest common ancestor of 2019-nCoV and RaTG13. The S1 protein of Pangolin-CoV is much more closely related to 2019-nCoV than RaTG13. Five key amino-acid residues involved in the interaction with human ACE2 are completely consistent between Pangolin-CoV and 2019-nCoV but four amino-acid mutations occur in RaTG13. It indicates Pangolin-CoV has similar pathogenic potential to 2019-nCoV, and would be helpful to trace the origin and probable intermediate host of 2019-nCoV.