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The transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus contains a spherical core shell consisting of M and N proteins



The transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus contains a spherical core shell consisting of M and N proteins



Journal of Virology 70(7): 4773-4777



Coronaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses involved in a variety of pathologies that affect animals and humans. Existing structural models of these viruses propose a helical nucleocapsid under the virion envelope as the unique internal structure. In the present work, we have analyzed the structure of the transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus. The definition of its organization supports a new structural model for coronaviruses, since a spherical, probably icosahedral, internal core has been characterized. Disruption of these cores induces the release of N-protein-containing helical nucleocapsids. Immunogold mapping and protein analysis of purified cores showed that they consist of M and N proteins, M being the main core shell component. This surprising finding, together with the fact that M protein molecules are also located in the virion envelope, indicates that a reconsideration of the assembly and maturation of coronaviruses, as well as a study of potential M-protein subclasses, is needed.

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Accession: 009632575

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PMID: 8676505


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