Molecular Characteristics, Functions, and Related Pathogenicity of MERS-CoV Proteins

Engineering (Beijing). 2019 Oct;5(5):940-947. doi: 10.1016/j.eng.2018.11.035. Epub 2019 Jul 17.


Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a de novo coronavirus-MERS-CoV-that is associated with high mortality. However, the mechanism by which MERS-CoV infects humans remains unclear. To date, there is no effective vaccine or antibody for human immunity and treatment, other than the safety and tolerability of the fully human polyclonal Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody (SAB-301) as a putative therapeutic agent specific for MERS. Although rapid diagnostic and public health measures are currently being implemented, new cases of MERS-CoV infection are still being reported. Therefore, various effective measures should be taken to prevent the serious impact of similar epidemics in the future. Further investigation of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of the virus, as well as the development of effective therapeutic and prophylactic anti-MERS-CoV infections, is necessary. For this purpose, detailed information on MERS-CoV proteins is needed. In this review, we describe the major structural and nonstructural proteins of MERS-CoV and summarize different potential strategies for limiting the outbreak of MERS-CoV. The combination of computational biology and virology can accelerate the advanced design and development of effective peptide therapeutics against MERS-CoV. In summary, this review provides important information about the progress of the elimination of MERS, from prevention to treatment.

Keywords: Accessory protein; MERS-CoV; Nonstructural protein; Spike protein; Structural protein.

Publication types

  • Review