31 Dec 2020
International journal of molecular sciences;
An enigmatic localized pneumonia escalated into a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This review aims to consolidate the extensive biological minutiae of SARS-CoV-2 which requires decipherment. Having one of the largest RNA viral genomes, the single strand contains the genes
ORF1ab, S, E,
and ten open reading frames. Highlighting unique features such as stem-loop formation, slippery frameshifting sequences and ribosomal mimicry, SARS-CoV-2 represents a formidable cellular invader. Hijacking the hosts translational engine, it produces two polyprotein repositories (pp1a and pp1ab), armed with self-cleavage capacity for production of sixteen non-structural proteins. Novel glycosylation sites on the spike trimer reveal unique SARS-CoV-2 features for shielding and cellular internalization. Affording complexity for superior fitness and camouflage, SARS-CoV-2 challenges diagnosis and vaccine vigilance. This review serves the scientific community seeking in-depth molecular details when designing drugs to curb transmission of this biological armament.