Structural Task Force

Leader protein

Leader protein (nsp1) begins restructuring the host cell after infection and is highly divergent between corona viruses.

It binds to the ribosome (40S subunit) and slows down the infected cell’s own protein production, while enabling production of viral proteins. This helps prevent the cell aiding an immune response and forces it help the virus proliferate.

Nsp1 also induces host mRNA cleavage (but is not a nuclease itself) and a variety of chemical changes in the host cell, which are not yet fully understood.

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June 3, 2021
How SARS-CoV-2 takes over its host—NSP1, the Leader Protein

Introduction This protein is known under many different names such as non-structural protein NSP1, leader protein, host translation inhibitor and host shutoff factor. Some of these names already tell us about the function and importance of this relatively small protein. It is found in all betacoronaviruses1 and, even though it only contains 180 amino acids2, […]

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Coronavirus Structural Taskforce
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