African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5211

Full Length Research Paper

Interaction of Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) nucleocapsid protein with Macrophage migration inhibitory factor protein (MIF)

Yang Lin1,2#, Baohua Wang3#, Yijun Liu1, Zhigang Yu1, Manhua Cui2 and Haichun Ma1*
1The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun130021, China. 2Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, the Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130041 China. 3Department of Anesthesia, the Affiliated Hospital of Changchun University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changchun 130021, China.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 July 2011
  •  Published: 18 August 2011


The nucleocapsid (N) protein of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is a major structural component of virions, which appears to be a multifunctional protein involved in viral RNA replication and translation. However, how N protein interacts with host protein remains largely elusive. To identify cellular proteins that interact with the N protein and to elucidate the possible involvement of N protein in SARS-Cov replication and translation, a human lung cDNA library was screened using a yeast two-hybrid system assay. In this study, we have identified Macrophage migration inhibitory factor protein (MIF) as a novel interaction partner of N protein by yeast two-hybrid system. The direct interaction and co-localization of N protein with MIF were confirmed by immunoprecipitation and confocal microscopy analysis, respectively. The mapping studies localized the critical N sequences for this interaction to amino acid 140-210 including SR motif by yeast two-hybrid system. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report that SARS-N protein interacts with the MIF within host cells, which enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of SARS replication.


Key words: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, nucleocapsid protein, macrophage migration inhibitory factor protein, yeast two-hybrid.