The Envelope Protein is a small unit located on the membrane of the virus. Thanks to it, SARS-CoV-2 is able to assemble into a whole unit.
Even though it is one of the smallest proteins, Epro performs many important functions! It helps the virus to form its envelope, fuse with the host cells, and more.
Side view... pretty!
Hover your mouse over the yellow button to reveal the side view of Epro
Click play to see a short movie and discover all the different angles of Epro!
Scroll down to see Epro's functions!
Recent studies have shown that the presence of this protein might increase the pathogenesis (the development of disease) in humans. Until now, only a few interactions between Epro and human proteins have been discovered.
Shape and Structure
Coronaviruses acquire their spherical shape thanks to the precise alignment of Envelope proteins. You can think of this protein as a signal that indicates the membrane to take a curve instead of a straight line in a road fork.
We like to think of the current state of Epro as “camouflaged” or hidden! More structural and molecular biology studies are needed to discover all the interactions this protein might be involved on, thus discovering its real power and possible functions.