A longstanding enigmatic feature of the group 1 coronaviruses is the uncleaved phenotype of their spike protein, an exceptional property among class I fusion proteins. Here, however, we show that some group 1 coronavirus spike proteins carry a furin enzyme recognition motif and can actually be cleaved, as demonstrated for a feline coronavirus. Interestingly, this feature can be lost during cell culture adaptation by a single mutation in the cleavage motif; this, however, preserves a heparan sulfate binding motif and renders infection by the virus heparan sulfate dependent. We identified a similar cell culture adaptation for the human coronavirus OC43
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