The European Microscopy Society Outstanding Paper Award 2021 for Life Sciences goes to…
Rhian Jones, Gabriel Bragagnolo, Rocío Arranz and Juan Reguera, Capping pores of alphavirus nsP1 gate membranous viral replication factories, Nature 589 (2021) 615–619. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-3036-8
The paper was nominated by Jaime Martín-Benito Romero, National Center of Biotechnology, CSIC, Spain.
The authors describe for the first time and at high resolution the viral pores that the virus Chikungunya and Alphaviruses form for gating their replication factories. The resolution, achieved by single particle cryo-EM workflow, describes at atomic level the coupling of enzymatic activation, membrane binding and oligomerization of a viral protein, the nsP1. NsP1 is also an essential RNA capping enzyme fundamental for the replication of the virus and serves as membrane anchored scaffold for the assembly of large replication complexes. The structure of the ring that is reported by Jones et al explains membrane association of the ring complex, enzymatic activity of part of the replication machinery and how the capping pores might control access to and exit from the viral replication organelle. The paper opens a new view on viral replication machineries introducing new concepts as viral replication reactors or capping pores. The impact can be expected to be high.
Published on April 12, 2022