How SARS-CoV-2 Evades And Suppresses The Immune System (Part 13)

Double Duty by the Membrane Protein

In previous installments of this series I discussed how different SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins suppress innate immunity by inhibiting production of interferons and induction of interferon-stimulated genes.

Recall that one of the ways the virus suppresses innate immunity is by interfering with multiple steps along key interferon signaling pathways (see Figure 1). In Part 11 and Part 12 of this series I described how SARS-CoV-2 inhibits the retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I) pathway through the nonstructural proteins NSP1, NSP6, and NSP13; the open reading frames Orf3a, Orf6, Orf7a, and Orf7b; and the membrane (M) protein. In those pieces I mainly examined the role played by the nonstructural proteins and open reading frames. Today we turn our attention to the last remaining piece of the puzzle, the M protein.

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Originally published on Forbes (September 22, 2021)

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.