Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.527, No.3, 618-623, 2020
Biochemical characterization of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein
The nucleocapsid (N) protein is an important antigen for coronavirus, which participate in RNA package and virus particle release. In this study, we expressed the N protein of SARS-CoV-2 and characterized its biochemical properties. Static light scattering, size exclusive chromatography, and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) showed that the purified N protein is largely a dimer in solution. CD spectra showed that it has a high percentage of disordered region at room temperature while it was best structured at 55 degrees C, suggesting its structural dynamics. Fluorescence polarization assay showed it has non-specific nucleic acid binding capability, which raised a concern in using it as a diagnostic marker. Immunoblot assays confirmed the presence of IgA, IgM and IgG antibodies against N antigen in COVID-19 infection patients' sera, proving the importance of this antigen in host immunity and diagnostics. (C) 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.