STRUCTURE OF CORONAVIRUS
Novel coronavirus also known as The SARS-CoV-2, consists of a single stranded RNA genome.
The genome of the novel coronavirus is contained in a spherical capsule which has many proteins, one of which is the ‘spike’ protein.
This spike protein on its surface gives it its characteristic ‘crown’ shape.
These spike proteins are known to be the ones which help the virus penetrate and enter the body of human hosts.
So far these spike proteins were the targets of those developing vaccines and drugs. These tests are generally conducted not on the live vaccines but in the pseudotypes i.e. harmless core in a lipo-protein spiked sphere. However, spike protein doesn’t act in isolation but in combination with certain other proteins.
A team from IISER Bhopal has studied the impact of the 24 proteins including N proteins. They find out the infectivity of N protein was higher than the others.
N stands for coronavirus nucleocapsid (N).
It is a structural protein that forms complexes with genomic RNA, interacts with the viral membrane protein during virion assembly and plays a critical role in enhancing the efficiency of virus transcription and assembly.