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SARS-CoV-2 structural coverage map reveals viral protein assembly, mimicry, and hijacking mechanisms


We modeled 3D structures of all SARS-CoV-2 proteins, generating 2,060 models that span 69% of the viral proteome and provide details not available elsewhere. We found that 6% of the proteome mimicked human proteins, while 7% was implicated in hijacking mechanisms that reverse post-translational modifications, block host translation, and disable host defenses; a further 29% self-assembled into heteromeric states that provided insight into how the viral replication and translation complex forms. To make these 3D models more accessible, we devised a structural coverage map, a novel visualization method to show what is-and is not-known about the 3D structure of the viral proteome. We integrated the coverage map into an accompanying online resource ( that can be used to find and explore models corresponding to the 79 structural states identified in this work. The resulting Aquaria-COVID resource helps scientists use emerging structural data to understand the mechanisms underlying coronavirus infection and draws attention to the 31% of the viral proteome that remains structurally unknown or dark.

Type Journal
ISBN 1744-4292 (Electronic) 1744-4292 (Linking)
Authors O'Donoghue, S. I.; Schafferhans, A.; Sikta, N.; Stolte, C.; Kaur, S.; Ho, B. K.; Anderson, S.; Procter, J. B.; Dallago, C.; Bordin, N.; Adcock, M.; Rost, B.
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Sean O'Donoghue
Publisher Name Molecular Systems Biology
Published Date 2021-09-30
Published Volume 17
Published Issue 9
Published Pages e10079
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.15252/msb.202010079
URL link to publisher's version