Image source ︎︎︎
Spike glycoprotein from SARS-CoV-2.
The structure of Infectious Collaborations outdoor installation at Jurong Lake Gardens is modeled after the spike protein of the COVID-19. As depicted in the figure, the “ribbons” on the protein structure are representative of specific amino acid sequences, leading to unique “patterns” giving rise to the overall structure that we see here. The significance of the spike protein comes from the critical role the structure plays in binding to the ACE2 receptor of human cells, thereby allowing the virus to gain entry into the human cell.
This spike protein structure is coded by Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines to trigger the body to produce antibodies against the virus. While the mRNA vaccine had been under research for years, the COVID-19 situation spurred an emergency authorisation of its use, a first of its kind in the history of human medicine.
Read more about the spike protein and mRNA vaccines at the Resource List ︎︎︎