Characterization of the Nonstructural and Spike Proteins of the Human Respiratory Coronavirus OC43: Comparison with Bovine Enteric Coronavirus

  • Samir Mounir
  • Patrick Labonté
  • Pierre J. Talbot
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 342)


The nucleotide sequence of the region between the spike (S) and the membrane (M) protein genes, and sequences of the S and ns2 genes of the OC43 strain of human coronavirus (HCV-OC43) were determined. The ns2 gene comprises an open reading frame (ORF) encoding a putative nonstructural (ns) protein of 279 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 32-kDa. The S gene comprises an ORF encoding a protein of 1353 amino acid residues, with a predicted molecular weight of 149,918. Sequence comparison between HCV-OC43 and the antigenically related bovine coronavirus (BCV) revealed more sequence divergence in the putative bulbous part of the S protein (S1) than in the stem region (S2). The cysteine residues near the transmembrane domain and the internal predicted protease cleavage site are conserved in the HCV-OC43 S protein. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the region between the S and M gene loci revealed the presence of an unexpected intragenomic partial leader sequence and two ORFs encoding potential proteins of 12.9 and 9.5-kDa. These two proteins were identified as nonstructural by comparison with the homologous BCV genes. In vitro translation analyses demonstrated that the HCV-OC43 9.5-kDa protein, like its BCV counterpart, is poorly translated when situated downstream of the 12.9-kDa ORF, but is expressed in infected cells, as shown by immunofluorescence. Interestingly, two ORFs, potentially encoding 4.9 and 4.8-kDa ns proteins in BCV are absent in HCV-OC43, indicating that they are not essential for viral replication in HRT-18 cells.


Amino Acid Sequence Identity Nonstructural Protein Mouse Hepatitis Virus Polyclonal Rabbit Antiserum Spike Protein 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samir Mounir
    • 1
  • Patrick Labonté
    • 1
  • Pierre J. Talbot
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre de Recherche en Virologie, Institut Armand-FrappierUniversité du QuébecLavalCanada

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