Coronaviruses pp 203-208 | Cite as

Involvement of Lipids in Membrane Binding of Mouse Hepatitis Virus Nucleocapsid Protein

  • Fred Wong
  • Robert Anderson
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 342)


Evidence is presented which indicates that membrane binding of the MHV nucleocapsid (N) protein is influenced by membrane lipid composition. Binding of N protein to membranes of mouse fibroblast L-2 cells is very specific and occurs under conditions in which no other viral or cellular proteins show detectable binding. Binding occurs rapidly and does not require the presence of divalent cations such as Ca++ or Mg++. Purified phospholipid liposomes compete against N protein binding to membranes. Phospholipids consisting of cardiolipin are the most effective in inhibiting membrane binding. Because of certain structural similarities between phospholipids and nucleic acids, we speculate that membrane lipid association of the N protein may compete for RNA binding sites on the N protein. Such a mechanism may be important for processes such as nucleocapsid uncoating and nucleocapsid assembly.


Mouse Fibroblast Nucleocapsid Protein Intracellular Membrane Membrane Binding Membrane Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Wong
    • 1
  • Robert Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Infectious DiseasesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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