I found the words "stretch of amino acids" in a newspaper article.

"This lipopeptide matches the stretch of amino acids in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 exactly."

What is the "stretch of amino acids"? Is this different from "amino acid sequence"?

I looked for a definition of the word but could not find it. From the usage, I guess it means something similar to "sequence", am I right?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, stretch means sequence. "This lipopeptide matches the stretch of amino acids in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 exactly." $\endgroup$
    – acvill
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. I'm also not sure what the word "match" means in that quote. Does it mean that the primary structure of spike protein and lipopeptide are the same? Or is it to be a "key and keyhole" relationship with spike protein? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ @acvill you can expand your comment and make it a proper answer $\endgroup$
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ I think this question should be closed because it is scientifically trivial and would seem more to relate to a restricted experience of English language usage, for which there are many aids on the internet. As far as Stack Exchange is concerned, English Language Learners might be appropriate. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ Unless ones know more or less chemistry, you may not understand the concept of "amino acid sequence" itself. For the non-native speaker of English, making up two or three technical terms that have exactly the same thing is the cause of the confusion, I think. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 11:44

2 Answers 2


Yes, stretch means sequence in this context. See definition #5 for stretch (noun) on Wiktionary:

  1. A segment or length of material.

So, the "stretch of amino acids" in the article refers to the peptide sequence portion of the lipopeptide prophylactic.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I was confused, guessing that there was some point in changing the terms. Thanks to you, my confusion was cleared up. I'll read the paper to see how these inhibit the infection process using the same sequence of peptides. I imagine it's similar to competitive inhibition, though. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 11:45
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    $\begingroup$ English speakers might also say "That stretch of road has a lot of potholes". It might even be used more loosely, like "a stretch of time". It's not an exclusively scientific term. $\endgroup$
    – swbarnes2
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 20:47

The lipoprotein has a 36 amino acid sequence that is the same (matches) as part of a protein from SARS-Cov-2.

The newspaper article refers to this paper below.

"Intranasal fusion inhibitory lipopeptide prevents direct contact SARS- CoV-2 transmission in ferrets"

Rory D. de Vries1@, Katharina S. Schmitz1@, Francesca T. Bovier#2,3,4@, Danny Noack1, Bart L. Haagmans1, Sudipta Biswas5, Barry Rockx1, Samuel H. Gellman6, Christopher A. Alabi5, Rik L. de Swart1, Anne Moscona2,3,7,8, Matteo Porotto2,3,4

available at:


  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. Your explanation really helped to understand the followings; The "matches" in the article means that ”part of the primary structure of the spike and part of the amino acid sequence of the lipoprotein are identical". $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 11:12

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