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The SARS-CoV-2 Envelope and Membrane proteins modulate maturation and retention of the Spike protein, allowing optimal formation of VLPs in presence of Nucleoprotein

Résumé : The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a β-coronavirus, is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like for other coronaviruses, its particles are composed of four structural proteins, namely Spike S, Envelope E, Membrane M and Nucleoprotein N proteins. The involvement of each of these proteins and their interplays during the assembly process of this new virus are poorly-defined and are likely β-coronavirus-type different. Therefore, we sought to investigate how SARS-CoV-2 behaves for its assembly by expression assays of S, in combination with E, M and/or N. By combining biochemical and imaging assays, we showed that E and M regulate intracellular trafficking of S and hence its furin-mediated processing. Indeed, our imaging data revealed that S remains at ERGIC or Golgi compartments upon expression of E or M, like for SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. By studying a mutant of S, we showed that its cytoplasmic tail, and more specifically, its C-terminal retrieval motif, is required for the M-mediated retention in the ERGIC, whereas E induces S retention by modulating the cell secretory pathway. We also highlighted that E and M induce a specific maturation of S N-glycosylation, which is observed on particles and lysates from infected cells independently of its mechanisms of intracellular retention. Finally, we showed that both M, E and N are required for optimal production of virus-like-proteins. Altogether, our results indicated that E and M proteins influence the properties of S proteins to promote assembly of viral particles. Our results therefore highlight both similarities and dissimilarities in these events, as compared to other β-coronaviruses.
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Preprints, Working Papers, ...
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03010969
Contributor : Cyrille Mathieu <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 10:15:48 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 3:22:58 AM

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Bertrand Boson, Vincent Legros, Bingjie Zhou, Cyrille Mathieu, François-Loïc Cosset, et al.. The SARS-CoV-2 Envelope and Membrane proteins modulate maturation and retention of the Spike protein, allowing optimal formation of VLPs in presence of Nucleoprotein. 2020. ⟨hal-03010969⟩

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