Coronavirus nucleocapsid protein: RNA interactions

Raymond Cologna, Brenda G. Hogue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The coronavirus nucleocapsid protein (N) is involved in encapsidation and packaging of vital RNA. In this study we investigated the ability of the bovine coronavirus (BCV) N protein to interact with RNA. Histidine-tagged BCV N (his-N) protein was expressed in bacteria. A filter binding assay was established to quantitatively measure the binding efficiency of purified his- N to different RNAs. The results indicate that bacterially expressed N bound both BCV and mouse hepatitis coronavirus (MHV) RNAs. Binding to in vitro generated BCV and MHV RNA transcripts was significantly higher than binding to a non-coronavirus RNA. Similar binding efficiencies were measured for a BCV defective genome, pDrep, and a transcript that contained the MHV packaging signal. Interestingly, the entire MHV DI, pMIDI-C, was bound at a higher efficiency than the packaging signal alone. This is one of the first reports to show that N interacts with the MHV packaging signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-359
Number of pages5
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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