The SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Protein and Its Role in Viral Structure, Biological Functions, and a Potential Target for Drug or Vaccine Mitigation
Viruses , Volume 13; doi:10.3390/v13061115
Abstract: The impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on the world is still expanding. Thus, there is an urgent need to better understand this novel virus and find a way to control its spread. Like other coronaviruses, the nucleocapsid (N) protein is one of the most crucial structural components of SARS-CoV-2. This protein shares 90% homology with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus N protein, implying functional significance. Based on the evolutionary conservation of the N protein in coronavirus, we reviewed the currently available knowledge regarding the SARS-CoV-2 N protein in terms of structure, biological functions, and clinical application as a drug target or vaccine candidate.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 / nucleocapsid protein / structure / biological function / vaccine
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