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Gene Review

N  -  nucleocapsid protein

Bovine coronavirus

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Disease relevance of N


High impact information on N


Chemical compound and disease context of N


Biological context of N

  • When M and N expression plasmids were cotransfected into human 293 renal epithelial cells, pseudoparticles formed readily [12].
  • This provided a clear genetic proof that the Alb4 phenotype was due to the observed deletion in the N gene [13].
  • This internal gene (designated I) is in the +1 reading frame with respect to the N gene, and it encodes a mostly hydrophobic 23-kDa polypeptide [14].
  • The nucleocapsid (N) protein of several members within the order Nidovirales localizes to the nucleolus during infection and after transfection of cells with N genes [15].
  • Initially, a 19-nucleotide tag was inserted into the start of gene 4a of MHV strain A59 with the N gene deletion mutant Alb4 as the recipient virus [16].

Anatomical context of N

  • Recombinant VV encoding N protein (VV-N) induces a humoral and a CD4+ T cell response, but did not prevent acute disease regardless of the immunization protocol [17].
  • These data provide the first definition of a MHV-specific CTL response directed to a viral protein and suggest that the anti-N protein CTL response is one potential mechanism used by the host to clear JHMV from the central nervous system [18].
  • In the present study, the influence of small interfering RNA (siRNA) on SARS-CoV nucleocapsid (N) protein expression was detected in cultured cells and mouse muscles [19].
  • By 8 to 12 h p.i., however, the membranes containing helicase and N had a predominantly perinuclear distribution and colocalized with M [20].
  • In clinical samples the median concentrations of R- and N-gene RNA, respectively, were 1.2 x 10(6) and 2.8 x 10(6) copies/ml (sputum and endotracheal aspirates), 4.3 x 10(4) and 5.5 x 10(4) copies/ml (stool), and 5.5 x 10(2) and 5.2 x 10(2) copies/sample (throat swabs and saliva) [21].

Associations of N with chemical compounds

  • BCV is a prototype for the coronaviruses that express an additional major structural protein, the hemagglutinin esterase (HE), in addition to the spike (S) glycoprotein, membrane (M) glycoprotein, and nucleocapsid (N) protein [22].
  • In contrast, mutation of amino acid Gln-74 to an alanine, which does not affect the binding activity of the N-terminal domain, showed minimal, if any, detrimental effect on the infectivity of IBV [23].
  • To distinguish between immune and replication associated mechanisms of persistence, brains from acutely and persistently infected mice were analyzed for viral RNA mutations in the encapsidation sequence (ECS) and regions encoding either the transmembrane domains of the matrix (M) protein or a protective CTL epitope in the nucleocapsid (N) protein [24].
  • From the predicted sequence it was apparent that the nucleocapsid protein has 5 basic regions, two of which are located near the middle of the sequence, a serine-rich region was also located, a feature which may be of functional importance as the nucleocapsid protein is phosphorylated at serine residues [25].
  • Incubation of the Nonidet P-40-disrupted virus at 37 degrees C resulted in formation of a complex between one of the viral glycoproteins, E1, and the viral nucleocapsid [9].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of N

  • Sequence analysis of the N genes of the revertants revealed that each contained a single second-site point mutation that compensated for the effects of the deletion [2].
  • The results obtained by both Western blot and ELISA for binding to the truncated N proteins coincide for seven of the Mab tested [26].
  • The nucleocapsid (N) protein of SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is abundantly expressed in infected-cell culture filtrate as demonstrable by Western blotting using convalescent-phase sera from patients with SARS [27].
  • Northern blot analysis was performed to demonstrate differences in subgenomic transcripts of the virus, and a real-time quantitative PCR was employed to compare the sensitivities of two loci (1b and N) [28].
  • Lysosomal trafficking of the LAMP/N chimera in transfected cells was documented by both confocal and immunoelectron microscopy [29].


  1. Crystal structure of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus nucleocapsid protein dimerization domain reveals evolutionary linkage between corona- and arteriviridae. Yu, I.M., Oldham, M.L., Zhang, J., Chen, J. J. Biol. Chem. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Analysis of second-site revertants of a murine coronavirus nucleocapsid protein deletion mutant and construction of nucleocapsid protein mutants by targeted RNA recombination. Peng, D., Koetzner, C.A., Masters, P.S. J. Virol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  3. Construction of murine coronavirus mutants containing interspecies chimeric nucleocapsid proteins. Peng, D., Koetzner, C.A., McMahon, T., Zhu, Y., Masters, P.S. J. Virol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  4. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus nucleocapsid protein is phosphorylated and localizes in the cytoplasm by 14-3-3-mediated translocation. Surjit, M., Kumar, R., Mishra, R.N., Reddy, M.K., Chow, V.T., Lal, S.K. J. Virol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  5. Nucleocapsid-independent assembly of coronavirus-like particles by co-expression of viral envelope protein genes. Vennema, H., Godeke, G.J., Rossen, J.W., Voorhout, W.F., Horzinek, M.C., Opstelten, D.J., Rottier, P.J. EMBO J. (1996) [Pubmed]
  6. Post-translational glycosylation of coronavirus glycoprotein E1: inhibition by monensin. Niemann, H., Boschek, B., Evans, D., Rosing, M., Tamura, T., Klenk, H.D. EMBO J. (1982) [Pubmed]
  7. Contributions of the structural proteins of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus to protective immunity. Buchholz, U.J., Bukreyev, A., Yang, L., Lamirande, E.W., Murphy, B.R., Subbarao, K., Collins, P.L. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. Protective effect of monoclonal antibodies on lethal mouse hepatitis virus infection in mice. Nakanaga, K., Yamanouchi, K., Fujiwara, K. J. Virol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  9. Isolation of coronavirus envelope glycoproteins and interaction with the viral nucleocapsid. Sturman, L.S., Holmes, K.V., Behnke, J. J. Virol. (1980) [Pubmed]
  10. Recombinant protein-based ELISA and immuno-cytochemical assay for the diagnosis of SARS. Carattoli, A., Di Bonito, P., Grasso, F., Giorgi, C., Blasi, F., Niedrig, M., Cassone, A. J. Med. Virol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  11. Use of viral lysate antigen combined with recombinant protein in Western immunoblot assay as confirmatory test for serodiagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Guan, M., Chen, H.Y., Tan, P.H., Shen, S., Goh, P.Y., Tan, Y.J., Pang, P.H., Lu, Y., Fong, P.Y., Chin, D. Clin. Diagn. Lab. Immunol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  12. Generation of synthetic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus pseudoparticles: implications for assembly and vaccine production. Huang, Y., Yang, Z.Y., Kong, W.P., Nabel, G.J. J. Virol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  13. Repair and mutagenesis of the genome of a deletion mutant of the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus by targeted RNA recombination. Koetzner, C.A., Parker, M.M., Ricard, C.S., Sturman, L.S., Masters, P.S. J. Virol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  14. The internal open reading frame within the nucleocapsid gene of mouse hepatitis virus encodes a structural protein that is not essential for viral replication. Fischer, F., Peng, D., Hingley, S.T., Weiss, S.R., Masters, P.S. J. Virol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  15. Intracellular localization of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus nucleocapsid protein: absence of nucleolar accumulation during infection and after expression as a recombinant protein in vero cells. Rowland, R.R., Chauhan, V., Fang, Y., Pekosz, A., Kerrigan, M., Burton, M.D. J. Virol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  16. Analysis of a recombinant mouse hepatitis virus expressing a foreign gene reveals a novel aspect of coronavirus transcription. Fischer, F., Stegen, C.F., Koetzner, C.A., Masters, P.S. J. Virol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  17. Induction of protective immunity against coronavirus-induced encephalomyelitis: evidence for an important role of CD8+ T cells in vivo. Flory, E., Pfleiderer, M., Stühler, A., Wege, H. Eur. J. Immunol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  18. Mouse hepatitis virus nucleocapsid protein-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes are Ld restricted and specific for the carboxy terminus. Stohlman, S.A., Kyuwa, S., Cohen, M., Bergmann, C., Polo, J.M., Yeh, J., Anthony, R., Keck, J.G. Virology (1992) [Pubmed]
  19. Small interfering RNA inhibits SARS-CoV nucleocapsid gene expression in cultured cells and mouse muscles. Zhao, P., Qin, Z.L., Ke, J.S., Lu, Y., Liu, M., Pan, W., Zhao, L.J., Cao, J., Qi, Z.T. FEBS Lett. (2005) [Pubmed]
  20. Mouse hepatitis virus replicase protein complexes are translocated to sites of M protein accumulation in the ERGIC at late times of infection. Bost, A.G., Prentice, E., Denison, M.R. Virology (2001) [Pubmed]
  21. Evaluation of advanced reverse transcription-PCR assays and an alternative PCR target region for detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus. Drosten, C., Chiu, L.L., Panning, M., Leong, H.N., Preiser, W., Tam, J.S., Günther, S., Kramme, S., Emmerich, P., Ng, W.L., Schmitz, H., Koay, E.S. J. Clin. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  22. Protein interactions during coronavirus assembly. Nguyen, V.P., Hogue, B.G. J. Virol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  23. Amino acid residues critical for RNA-binding in the N-terminal domain of the nucleocapsid protein are essential determinants for the infectivity of coronavirus in cultured cells. Tan, Y.W., Fang, S., Fan, H., Lescar, J., Liu, D.X. Nucleic Acids Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
  24. Viral evolution and CTL epitope stability during JHMV infection in the central nervous system. Bergmann, C.C., Dimacali, E., Stohl, S., Marten, N., Lai, M.M., Stohlman, S.A. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  25. Coronavirus JHM: nucleotide sequence of the mRNA that encodes nucleocapsid protein. Skinner, M.A., Siddell, S.G. Nucleic Acids Res. (1983) [Pubmed]
  26. Location of antibody epitopes within the mouse hepatitis virus nucleocapsid protein. Stohlman, S.A., Bergmann, C., Cua, D., Wege, H., van der Veen, R. Virology (1994) [Pubmed]
  27. Sensitive and specific monoclonal antibody-based capture enzyme immunoassay for detection of nucleocapsid antigen in sera from patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome. Che, X.Y., Qiu, L.W., Pan, Y.X., Wen, K., Hao, W., Zhang, L.Y., Wang, Y.D., Liao, Z.Y., Hua, X., Cheng, V.C., Yuen, K.Y. J. Clin. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  28. Reverse transcriptase PCR diagnostic assay for the coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome. Hui, R.K., Zeng, F., Chan, C.M., Yuen, K.Y., Peiris, J.S., Leung, F.C. J. Clin. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  29. SARS coronavirus nucleocapsid immunodominant T-cell epitope cluster is common to both exogenous recombinant and endogenous DNA-encoded immunogens. Gupta, V., Tabiin, T.M., Sun, K., Chandrasekaran, A., Anwar, A., Yang, K., Chikhlikar, P., Salmon, J., Brusic, V., Marques, E.T., Kellathur, S.N., August, T.J. Virology (2006) [Pubmed]
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