SARS-CoV-2 Assembly and Egress Pathway Revealed by Correlative Multi-modal Multi-scale Cryo-imaging

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Luiza MendonçaPeijun Zhang


Since the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there have been intense structural studies on purified recombinant viral components and inactivated viruses. However, investigation of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in the native cellular context is scarce, and there is a lack of comprehensive knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 replicative cycle. Understanding the genome replication, assembly and egress of SARS-CoV-2, a multistage process that involves different cellular compartments and the activity of many viral and cellular proteins, is critically important as it bears the means of medical intervention to stop infection. Here, we investigated SARS-CoV-2 replication in Vero cells under the near-native frozen-hydrated condition using a unique correlative multi-modal, multi-scale cryo-imaging approach combining soft X-ray cryo-tomography and serial cryoFIB/SEM volume imaging of the entire SARS-CoV-2 infected cell with cryo-electron tomography (cryoET) of cellular lamellae and cell periphery, as well as structure determination of viral components by subtomogram averaging. Our results reveal at the whole cell level profound cytopathic effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection, exemplified by a large amount of heterogeneous vesicles in the cytoplasm for RNA sy...Continue Reading


Feb 19, 2021·Biology of the Cell·Lucio Ayres CaldasWanderley de Souza

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