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Coronavirus nonstructural protein 1: Common and distinct functions in the regulation of host and viral gene expression

Narayanan, Krishna, Ramirez, Sydney I., Lokugamage, Kumari G., Makino, Shinji
Virus research 2015 v.202 pp. 89-100
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, gene expression, humans, innate immunity, pathogenesis, vaccine development, viral nonstructural proteins, virulence
The recent emergence of two highly pathogenic human coronaviruses (CoVs), severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV, has ignited a strong interest in the identification of viral factors that determine the virulence and pathogenesis of CoVs. The nonstructural protein 1 (nsp1) of CoVs has attracted considerable attention in this regard as a potential virulence factor and a target for CoV vaccine development because of accumulating evidence that point to its role in the downregulation of host innate immune responses to CoV infection. Studies have revealed both functional conservation and mechanistic divergence among the nsp1 of different mammalian CoVs in perturbing host gene expression and antiviral responses. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the biological functions of CoV nsp1 that provides an insight into the novel strategies utilized by this viral protein to modulate host and viral gene expression during CoV infection.