Coronavirus Cell Entry. Coronavirus virion (COVID or SARS-2) binds to ACE2 receptors (tree-like projections) on the surface of a human cell (greenish, water surface) and is engulfed by endocytosis. After membrane fusion, the virus releases its RNA (yellow string) which directs the production of new virus particles.
Coronavirus virions on a seething, histological backdrop. The virion of SARS-Cov-2 (COVID virus) has characteristic faceting (icosahedral) and a corona (L. crown) of spikes. The spikes are three identical proteins wound together (trimers) that let the virus to bind to certain cells:
Coronaviruses release their RNA into the cytoplasm where it directs the production of new virus proteins and nucleic acids. These combine into new particles, which travel through the Golgi, maturing in the process. Nascent viruses collect in membrane bound sacs and are eventually released from the cell.
N protein might also target the nucleolus where it could enhance the life cycle. Nucleus at bottom right. The N protein presumably enters via nuclear pores.
This CoV replication graphic was wildly popular during the SARS epidemic, and got caught in the crosshairs of history in 2020 during COVID.
Portrait of the SARS virus with a cell background. Popular during the SARS epidemic and featuring on the front vover of CANN'S Principles of Virology by Edward Rybicki..