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Unpacking Pandora from Its Box: Deciphering the Molecular Basis of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus

1
Department of Medical Genetics, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Ruska 87, Vinohrady, 10000 Prague, Czech Republic
2
Department of Experimental Neurobiology, National Institute of Mental Health, Research Programme 1, Topolova 748, 25067 Klecany, Czech Republic
3
International Centre for Neurotherapeutics, Dublin City University, Collins Avenue, Dublin 9, Ireland
4
Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Ruska 87, Vinohrady, 10000 Prague, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010386
Received: 15 November 2020 / Revised: 25 December 2020 / Accepted: 29 December 2020 / Published: 31 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Role of Xenobiotics)
An enigmatic localized pneumonia escalated into a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This review aims to consolidate the extensive biological minutiae of SARS-CoV-2 which requires decipherment. Having one of the largest RNA viral genomes, the single strand contains the genes ORF1ab, S, E, M, N and ten open reading frames. Highlighting unique features such as stem-loop formation, slippery frameshifting sequences and ribosomal mimicry, SARS-CoV-2 represents a formidable cellular invader. Hijacking the hosts translational engine, it produces two polyprotein repositories (pp1a and pp1ab), armed with self-cleavage capacity for production of sixteen non-structural proteins. Novel glycosylation sites on the spike trimer reveal unique SARS-CoV-2 features for shielding and cellular internalization. Affording complexity for superior fitness and camouflage, SARS-CoV-2 challenges diagnosis and vaccine vigilance. This review serves the scientific community seeking in-depth molecular details when designing drugs to curb transmission of this biological armament. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; virus; pandemic; bats; RNA; coronavirus; 2019-nCoV COVID-19; virus; pandemic; bats; RNA; coronavirus; 2019-nCoV
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MDPI and ACS Style

O’Leary, V.B.; Dolly, O.J.; Höschl, C.; Černa, M.; Ovsepian, S.V. Unpacking Pandora from Its Box: Deciphering the Molecular Basis of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 386. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010386

AMA Style

O’Leary VB, Dolly OJ, Höschl C, Černa M, Ovsepian SV. Unpacking Pandora from Its Box: Deciphering the Molecular Basis of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(1):386. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010386

Chicago/Turabian Style

O’Leary, Valerie B.; Dolly, Oliver J.; Höschl, Cyril; Černa, Marie; Ovsepian, Saak V. 2021. "Unpacking Pandora from Its Box: Deciphering the Molecular Basis of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, no. 1: 386. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010386

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