Pathogenic perspective of missense mutations of ORF3a protein of SARS-CoV-2

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Virus Research


One of the most important proteins for COVID-19 pathogenesis in SARS-CoV-2 is the ORF3a which is the largest accessory protein among others coded by the SARS-CoV-2 genome. The major roles of the protein include virulence, infectivity, ion channel activity, morphogenesis, and virus release. The coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 is mutating rapidly, therefore, critical study of mutations in ORF3a is certainly important from the pathogenic perspective. Here, a sum of 175 non-synonymous mutations in the ORF3a of SARS-CoV-2 were identified from 7194 complete genomes of SARS-CoV-2 available from NCBI database. Effects of these mutations on structural stability, and functions of ORF3a were also studied. Broadly, three different classes of mutations, such as neutral, disease, and mixed (neutral and disease) types of mutations were observed. Consecutive phenomena of mutations in ORF3a protein were studied based on the timeline of detection of the mutations. Considering the amino acid compositions of the ORF3a protein, twenty clusters were detected using the K-means clustering method. The present findings on 175 novel mutations of ORF3a proteins will extend our knowledge on ORF3a, a vital accessory protein in SARS-CoV-2, to enlighten the pathogenicity of this life-threatening virus.



Publication Date



Open Access, Green

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