variants: or less commonly spike glycoprotein
plural spike proteins also spike glycoproteins
Definition of spike protein
: a glycoprotein that protrudes from the envelope of some viruses (such as a coronavirus) and facilitates entry of the virion into a host cell by binding to a receptor on the surface of a host cell followed by fusion of the viral and host cell membranes Like a key in a lock, these spike proteins fuse to receptors on the surface of cells, allowing the virus's genetic code to invade the host cell, take over its machinery and replicate.— Bruce Lieberman Their results, published in Science, confirm that the spike protein on the virus that causes COVID-19 is quite similar to that of its close relative, the SARS virus.— Francis Collins Using a powerful imaging technique … , researchers from the National Institutes of Health, Weill Cornell Medical College and Yale University School of Medicine observed the motions of key proteins on the surface of HIV called spike proteins.— Emily Mullin
— called also S protein
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