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A molecular pore spans the double membrane of the coronavirus replication organelle

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Science  11 Sep 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6509, pp. 1395-1398
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd3629

A gateway to the cytosol

Coronaviruses transform host cell membranes into peculiar double-membrane vesicles that have long been thought to accommodate viral genome replication. However, because these compartments appeared to be completely sealed, it has remained unknown how the newly made viral RNA could be exported to the cytosol for translation and packaging into new virions. Wolff et al. used cryo–electron microscopy to identify a molecular pore that spans the double membrane (see the Perspective by Unchwaniwala and Ahlquist). Six copies of a large coronavirus transmembrane protein formed the core of this structure, which may constitute a viral RNA export channel and provide a target for future antiviral interventions.

Science, this issue p. 1395; see also p. 1306

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