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  • Nanoscale cellular organization of viral RNA and proteins in SARS-CoV-2 replication organelles. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology Andronov, L., Han, M., Zhu, Y., Roy, A. R., Barentine, A. E., Garhyan, J., Qi, L. S., Moerner, W. E. 2023


    The SARS-CoV-2 viral infection transforms host cells and produces special organelles in many ways, and we focus on the replication organelle where the replication of viral genomic RNA (vgRNA) occurs. To date, the precise cellular localization of key RNA molecules and replication intermediates has been elusive in electron microscopy studies. We use super-resolution fluorescence microscopy and specific labeling to reveal the nanoscopic organization of replication organelles that contain vgRNA clusters along with viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) clusters and the replication enzyme, encapsulated by membranes derived from the host endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We show that the replication organelles are organized differently at early and late stages of infection. Surprisingly, vgRNA accumulates into distinct globular clusters in the cytoplasmic perinuclear region, which grow and accommodate more vgRNA molecules as infection time increases. The localization of ER labels and nsp3 (a component of the double-membrane vesicle, DMV) at the periphery of the vgRNA clusters suggests that replication organelles are enclosed by DMVs at early infection stages which then merge into vesicle packets as infection progresses. Precise co-imaging of the nanoscale cellular organization of vgRNA, dsRNA, and viral proteins in replication organelles of SARS-CoV-2 may inform therapeutic approaches that target viral replication and associated processes.

    View details for DOI 10.1101/2023.11.07.566110

    View details for PubMedID 37986994