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Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(10): 5956-5966, 2021 06 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231040


Replication of the ∼30 kb-long coronavirus genome is mediated by a complex of non-structural proteins (NSP), in which NSP7 and NSP8 play a critical role in regulating the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) activity of NSP12. The assembly of NSP7, NSP8 and NSP12 proteins is highly dynamic in solution, yet the underlying mechanism remains elusive. We report the crystal structure of the complex between NSP7 and NSP8 of SARS-CoV-2, revealing a 2:2 heterotetrameric form. Formation of the NSP7-NSP8 complex is mediated by two distinct oligomer interfaces, with interface I responsible for heterodimeric NSP7-NSP8 assembly, and interface II mediating the heterotetrameric interaction between the two NSP7-NSP8 dimers. Structure-guided mutagenesis, combined with biochemical and enzymatic assays, further reveals a structural coupling between the two oligomer interfaces, as well as the importance of these interfaces for the RdRP activity of the NSP7-NSP8-NSP12 complex. Finally, we identify an NSP7 mutation that differentially affects the stability of the NSP7-NSP8 and NSP7-NSP8-NSP12 complexes leading to a selective impairment of the RdRP activity. Together, this study provides deep insights into the structure and mechanism for the dynamic assembly of NSP7 and NSP8 in regulating the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, with important implications for antiviral drug development.

COVID-19 , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Chromatography, Gel , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/biosynthesis , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Crystallography, X-Ray , Dimerization , Models, Molecular , Multiprotein Complexes , Mutagenesis , Mutation , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Mapping , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Structure-Activity Relationship , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication
Science ; 372(6548): 1306-1313, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228853


Programmed ribosomal frameshifting is a key event during translation of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA genome that allows synthesis of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and downstream proteins. Here, we present the cryo-electron microscopy structure of a translating mammalian ribosome primed for frameshifting on the viral RNA. The viral RNA adopts a pseudoknot structure that lodges at the entry to the ribosomal messenger RNA (mRNA) channel to generate tension in the mRNA and promote frameshifting, whereas the nascent viral polyprotein forms distinct interactions with the ribosomal tunnel. Biochemical experiments validate the structural observations and reveal mechanistic and regulatory features that influence frameshifting efficiency. Finally, we compare compounds previously shown to reduce frameshifting with respect to their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication, establishing coronavirus frameshifting as a target for antiviral intervention.

Frameshifting, Ribosomal , RNA, Viral/genetics , Ribosomes/ultrastructure , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/biosynthesis , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Codon, Terminator , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/biosynthesis , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Fluoroquinolones/pharmacology , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/drug effects , Genome, Viral , Humans , Image Processing, Computer-Assisted , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Open Reading Frames , Protein Folding , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Ribosomal, 18S/chemistry , RNA, Ribosomal, 18S/genetics , RNA, Ribosomal, 18S/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Ribosomal Proteins/metabolism , Ribosomes/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects