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The adenine-rich tract in the 5ʹ-end of the hepatitis C virus ORF encodes a peptide regulating the binding of the C protein to RNA

Chinnaswamy, Sreedhar & Lott, William B. (2012) The adenine-rich tract in the 5ʹ-end of the hepatitis C virus ORF encodes a peptide regulating the binding of the C protein to RNA. Acta Virologica, 56(03), pp. 217-226.

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Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV ) core (C) protein is thought to bind to viral RNA before it undergoes oligomerization leading to RNA encapsidation. Details of these events are so far unknown. The 5ʹ-terminal C protein coding sequence that includes an adenine (A)-rich tract is a part of an internal ribosome entry site(IRES). This nucleotide sequence but not the corresponding protein sequence is needed for proper initiation of translation of viral RNA by an IRES-dependent mechanism. In this study, we examined the importance of this sequence for the ability of the C protein to bind to viral RNA. Serially truncated C proteins with deletions from 10 up to 45 N-terminal amino acids were expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and tested for binding to viral RNA by a gel shift assay. The results showed that truncation of the C protein from its N-terminus by more than 10 amino acids abolished almost completely its expression in E. coli. The latter could be restored by adding a tag to the N-terminus of the protein. The tagged proteins truncated by 15 or more amino acids showed an anomalous migration in SDS-PAGE. Truncation by more than 20 amino acids resulted in a complete loss of ability of tagged C protein to bind to viral RNA. These results provide clues to the early events in the C protein - RNA interactions leading to C protein oligomerization, RNA encapsidation and virion assembly.

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ID Code: 53988
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: hepatitis C virus, core protein, RNA binding
DOI: 10.4149/av_2012_03_217
ISSN: 0001-723X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > MICROBIOLOGY (060500) > Virology (060506)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY (110800) > Medical Virology (110804)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2012 11:29
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2013 01:12

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