1/3 The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is extremely fusion active: Even smallest, hardly detectable amounts of spike protein on the cell surface suffice to induce cell fusion and thus cell death. However, the spike protein is capable of a lot more:

The contact of virus particles, which bear the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on their surface, with human cells is sufficient for the cells to fuse. For the cells affected, this fusion can mean apoptosis.
3/3 This process, which is called “fusion-from-without” highlights the tremendous membrane fusion activity of the spike protein.

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