Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(14):3889-3897. doi:10.7150/ijbs.64977 This issue

Research Paper

The intraviral protein-protein interaction of SARS-CoV-2 reveals the key role of N protein in virus-like particle assembly

Minghai Chen1✉#, Chuang Yan1#, Fujun Qin1, Luping Zheng1, Xian-En Zhang2,3✉

1. CAS Key Laboratory of Quantitative Engineering Biology, Shenzhen Institute of Synthetic Biology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China.
2. Faculty of Synthetic Biology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China.
3. National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, CAS Center for Excellence in Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
Citation:
Chen M, Yan C, Qin F, Zheng L, Zhang XE. The intraviral protein-protein interaction of SARS-CoV-2 reveals the key role of N protein in virus-like particle assembly. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(14):3889-3897. doi:10.7150/ijbs.64977. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v17p3889.htm

File import instruction

Abstract

Graphic abstract

Intraviral protein-protein interactions (PPIs) of SARS-CoV-2 in host cells may provide useful information for deep understanding of virology of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, 22 of 55 interactions of the structural and accessory proteins of SARS-CoV-2 were identified by biomolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay. The nucleocapsid (N) protein was found to have the most interactions among the structural and accessory proteins of SARS-CoV-2, and also specifically interacted with the putative packaging signal (PS) of SARS-CoV-2. We also demonstrated that the PS core containing PS576 RNA bears a functional PS, important for the assembly of the viral RNA into virus like particles (VLPs), and the packaging of SARS-CoV-2 RNA was N dependent.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, interactome, nucleocapsid protein, BiFC, VLPs