Coronavirus envelope (E) proteins are short (100 residues) polypeptides that contain at least one transmembrane (TM) domain and a cluster of 2-3 juxtamembrane cysteines. These proteins are involved in viral morphogenesis and tropism, and their absence leads in some cases to aberrant virions, or to viral attenuation. In common to other viroporins, coronavirus envelope proteins increase membrane permeability to ions, plays a central role in virus morphogenesis and assembly. Acts as a viroporin and self-assembles in host membranes forming pentameric protein-lipid pores that allow ion transport. Also plays a role in the induction of apoptosis. Activates the host NLRP3 inflammasome, leading to IL-1beta overproduction.