The gene encoding the spike protein of the OC43 strain of human coronavirus (HCV-OC43) was cloned and sequenced. The complete nucleotide sequence revealed an open reading frame of 4062 nucleotides encoding a protein of 1353 amino acids with a predicted of 150078. Structural features include 22 -glycosylation sites, an N-terminal hydrophobic signal sequence of 17 amino acids, an hydrophilic cysteine-rich sequence of 35 amino acids near the C terminus, and a potential proteolytic cleavage site (RRSR) between amino acid residues 758 and 759, yielding S1 and S2 segments of 84730 and 65366 , respectively. The predicted amino acid sequence of the spike protein of HCV-OC43 has 91% identity with that of the Mebus strain of bovine coronavirus, revealing more sequence divergence in the putative bulbous part (S1) than in the predicted stem region (S2).


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