Synthesis, insertion, and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 membrane protein within lipid bilayers.

Publication date: Mar 01, 2024

Throughout history, coronaviruses have posed challenges to both public health and the global economy; nevertheless, methods to combat them remain rudimentary, primarily due to the absence of experiments to understand the function of various viral components. Among these, membrane (M) proteins are one of the most elusive because of their small size and challenges with expression. Here, we report the development of an expression system to produce tens to hundreds of milligrams of M protein per liter of Escherichia coli culture. These large yields render many previously inaccessible structural and biophysical experiments feasible. Using cryo-electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, we image and characterize individual membrane-incorporated M protein dimers and discover membrane thinning in the vicinity, which we validated with molecular dynamics simulations. Our results suggest that the resulting line tension, along with predicted induction of local membrane curvature, could ultimately drive viral assembly and budding.

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Concepts Keywords
Biophysical Bilayers
Coli Characterization
Coronaviruses Coronaviruses
Hundreds Cov
Lipid Experiments
Expression
History
Insertion
Lipid
Membrane
Microscopy
Posed
Sars
Synthesis
Viral

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease IDO history
disease VO report
disease VO M protein
pathway REACTOME Budding

Original Article

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