Universal features of Nsp1-mediated translational shutdown by coronaviruses

Read the full article See related articles

Listed in

This article is not in any list yet, why not add it to one of your lists.
Log in to save this article


Nonstructural protein 1 (Nsp1) produced by coronaviruses shuts down host protein synthesis in infected cells. The C-terminal domain of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp1 was shown to bind to the small ribosomal subunit to inhibit translation, but it is not clear whether this mechanism is broadly used by coronaviruses, whether the N-terminal domain of Nsp1 binds the ribosome, or how Nsp1 specifically permits translation of viral mRNAs. Here, we investigated Nsp1 from three representative Betacoronaviruses – SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, and Bat-Hp-CoV – using structural, biophysical, and biochemical assays. We revealed a conserved mechanism of host translational shutdown across the three coronaviruses. We further demonstrated that the N-terminal domain of Bat-Hp-CoV Nsp1 binds to the decoding center of the 40S subunit, where it would prevent mRNA and eIF1A binding. Structure-based biochemical experiments identified a conserved role of these inhibitory interactions in all three coronaviruses and showed that the same regions of Nsp1 are responsible for the preferential translation of viral mRNAs. Our results provide a mechanistic framework to understand how Betacoronaviruses overcome translational inhibition to produce viral proteins.

Article activity feed