Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an emerging infectious disease associated with a novel coronavirus (CoV) that was identified and molecularly characterized in 2003. Previous studies on various coronaviruses indicate that protein-protein interactions amongst various coronavirus proteins are critical for viral assembly and morphogenesis. It is necessary to elucidate the molecular mechanism of SARS-CoV replication and rationalize the anti-SARS therapeutic intervention. In this study, we employed an in vitro GST pull-down assay to investigate the interaction between the membrane (M) and the nucleocapsid (N) proteins. Our results show that the interaction between the M and N proteins does take place in vitro. Moreover, we provide an evidence that 12 amino acids domain (194-205) in the M protein is responsible for binding to N protein. Our work will help shed light on the molecular mechanism of the virus assembly and provide valuable information pertaining to rationalization of future anti-viral strategies.
- Membrane protein
- Nucleocapsid protein
- Protein interaction and GST resin pull-down assay