The Membrane M Protein of the Transmissible Gastroenteritis Coronavirus Binds to the Internal Core through the Carboxy-Terminus
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An internal core was recently described in two coronaviruses, the tramsmissible gastroenteritis Coronavirus (TGEV) and the murine hepatitis virus (MHV) (Risco et al., 1996). The core has a spherical and possibly icosaedral shape. Purified cores included both the nucleoprotein and the membrane protein, as well as the viral genome. The presence of the M protein in purified cores was unexpected since this has been considered an integral membrane protein. This observation could be explained if the M protein molecules embedded in the viral envelope, with the intravirion carboxy-terminus, interact with the internal core by an intravirion domain. This hypothesis seems feasible since it was shown that the M protein interacts with the viral nucleocapsids in MHV virions (Sturman et al., 1980). However, further evidence for this interaction is required.
KeywordsProtein Molecule Integral Membrane Protein Viral Envelope Core Stability Rabbit Reticulocyte Lysate
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