The SARS-CoV-2 open reading frame 8 (ORF8) encodes an accessory protein of unknown function located in the SARS-CoV-2 genome between the reading frames for M and N and just downstream of ORF7a. The product of ORF8 is 121 amino acids in length. The first 15 amino acids encode an n-terminal signal peptide for transport into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The ability of ORF8 to associate with ER proteins in immunoprecipitation experiments suggests it may also localize to the ER. However, the protein lacks a discernable transmembrane region or known ER retention signal. The ORF8 encoded protein assembles as a disulfide-linked homodimer. ORF8 deletion events have been observed in SARS-CoV-2, but as yet these represent a minority of the virus population, suggesting the protein might be functionally important for SARS-CoV-2 spread.