SARS-CoV-2 Virion Stabilization by Zn Binding

S Morante and G La Penna and G Rossi and F Stellato, FRONTIERS IN MOLECULAR BIOSCIENCES, 7, 222 (2020).

DOI: 10.3389/fmolb.2020.00222

Zinc plays a crucial role in the process of virion maturation inside the host cell. The accessory Cys-rich proteins expressed in SARS-CoV-2 by genes ORF7a and ORF8 are likely involved in zinc binding and in interactions with cellular antigens activated by extensive disulfide bonds. In this report we provide a proof of concept for the feasibility of a structural study of orf7a and orf8 proteins. A conceivable hypothesis is that lack of cellular zinc, or substitution thereof, might lead to a significant slowing down of viral maturation.

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