Published: Structural biology of SARS-CoV-2 leader protein (nsp1)

April 18, 2024

Following infection, SARS-CoV-2’s leader protein nsp1 is the very first viral protein to be expressed.

Interaction between SARS-CoV-2 nsp1 (purple), human ribosomal RNA (bright orange) and ribosomal proteins (mainly 40S, dark orange), with a highlight on nsp1’s KH motif (molecular representation in the zoomed-in view) mediating the interaction (PDB entry: 6ZOJ)

Nsp1 takes over the host cell protein expression machinery to facilitate the production of SARS-CoV-2 virions by the host cell by binding to the ribosome and obstructing the expression of any but the viral proteins. 

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