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Characterization of viral proteins encoded by the SARS-coronavirus genome

Characterization of viral proteins encoded by the SARS-coronavirus genome

Antiviral Research 65(2): 69-78

A new disease, termed severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), emerged at the end of 2002 and caused profound disturbances in over 30 countries worldwide in 2003. A novel coronavirus was identified as the aetiological agent of SARS and the 30kb viral genome was deciphered with unprecedented speed in a coordinated manner by the global community. Since then, much progress has been made in the virological and molecular characterization of the proteins encoded by SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) genome, which contains 14 potential open reading frames (ORFs). These investigations can be broadly classified into three groups: (a) studies on the replicase 1a/1b gene products which are important for viral replication, (b) studies on the structural proteins, spike, nucleocapsid, membrane and envelope, which have homologues in all coronaviruses, and are important for viral assembly and (c) expression and functional studies of the "accessory" proteins that are specifically encoded by SARS-CoV. A comparison of the properties of these three groups of SARS-CoV proteins with the knowledge that coronavirologists have generated over more than 30 years of research can help us in the prevention and treatment of SARS in the event of the re-emergence of this new infectious disease.

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Accession: 004071362

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PMID: 15708633

DOI: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2004.10.001

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