Temperature Influences the Interaction between SARS-CoV-2 Spike from Omicron Subvariants and Human ACE2

Shang Yu Gong, Shilei Ding, Mehdi Benlarbi, Yaozong Chen, Dani Vézina, Lorie Marchitto, Guillaume Beaudoin-Bussières, Guillaume Goyette, Catherine Bourassa, Yuxia Bo, Halima Medjahed, Inès Levade, Marzena Pazgier, Marceline Côté, Jonathan Richard, Jérémie Prévost, Andrés Finzi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


SARS-CoV-2 continues to infect millions of people worldwide. The subvariants arising from the variant-of-concern (VOC) Omicron include BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5. All possess multiple mutations in their Spike glycoprotein, notably in its immunogenic receptor-binding domain (RBD), and present enhanced viral transmission. The highly mutated Spike glycoproteins from these subvariants present different degrees of resistance to recognition and cross-neutralisation by plasma from previously infected and/or vaccinated individuals. We have recently shown that the temperature affects the interaction between the Spike and its receptor, the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The affinity of RBD for ACE2 is significantly increased at lower temperatures. However, whether this is also observed with the Spike of Omicron and sub-lineages is not known. Here we show that, similar to other variants, Spikes from Omicron sub-lineages bind better the ACE2 receptor at lower temperatures. Whether this translates into enhanced transmission during the fall and winter seasons remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2178
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • ACE2 affinity
  • BA.4
  • BA.5
  • COVID-19
  • Omicron
  • RBD
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Spike glycoprotein
  • temperature
  • variant of concern


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