The Structural Features of Henipavirus Matrix Protein Driving Intracellular Trafficking

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Abstract

Henipaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that have recently emerged as zoonotic pathogens, capable of causing severe acute respiratory disease and encephalitis in humans. The prototypical henipaviruses, Hendra henipavirus and Nipah henipavirus, are a major health concern as they have high mortality rates and no currently approved human vaccine or drug therapy. Understanding the mechanisms of viral replication and pathogenicity is of critical importance for therapeutic developments. A novel target for such therapies is the Henipavirus Matrix (M) protein, a multifunctional protein that drives viral assembly and inhibits the innate immune response. These multifunctional attributes promote a complicated lifecycle: while viral replication occurs in the cytoplasm, M traffics to the nucleus, where it is ubiquitinated, for correct cellular targeting and virion packaging. In this study, we review the relationship between the structure and functions of M. In specific cases, the compatibility between structural accessibility and protein functionality is not always evident, and we highlight areas that require further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalViral Immunology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 06 Oct 2020

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