Coronaviruses (CoVs) assemble at endoplasmic reticulum Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) membranes and egress from cells in cargo vesicles. Only a few molecules of the envelope (E) protein are assembled into virions. The role of E in morphogenesis is not fully understood. The cellular localization and dynamics of mouse hepatitis CoV A59 (MHV) E protein were investigated to further understanding of its role during infection. E protein localized in the ERGIC and Golgi with the amino and carboxy termini in the lumen and cytoplasm, respectively. E protein does not traffic to the cell surface. MHV was genetically engineered with a tetracysteine tag at the carboxy end of E. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) showed that E is mobile in ERGIC/Golgi membranes. Correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM) confirmed the presence of E in Golgi cisternae. The results provide strong support that E proteins carry out their function(s) at the site of budding/assembly.
- Envelope protein
- Live-cell imaging
- Protein transport/localization
- Virus assembly
ASJC Scopus subject areas