May 2008 Virus research

The SARS-Coronavirus PLnc domain of nsp3 as a replication/transcription scaffolding protein.

Auteurs

Imbert I, Snijder EJ, Dimitrova M, Guillemot JC, Lécine P, Canard B

Résumé

Many genetic and mechanistic features distinguish the coronavirus replication machinery from that encoded by most other RNA viruses. The coronavirus replication/transcription complex is an assembly of viral and, most probably, cellular proteins that mediate the synthesis of both the unusually large (approximately 30 kb) RNA genome and an extensive set of subgenomic mRNAs. The viral components of the complex are encoded by the giant replicase gene, which is expressed in the form of two polyproteins (pp1a and pp1ab) that are processed into 16 cleavage products (nonstructural proteins 1-16). Using the combination of yeast two-hybrid screening and GST pull-down assays, we have now analyzed all potential interactions between SARS-Coronavirus nonstructural proteins, which may contribute to the structure and/or function of the viral replication/transcription complex. We demonstrate the existence of a complex network of interactions involving all 16 nonstructural proteins. Our results both confirmed previously described associations and identified novel heterodimerizations. The interaction map thus provides a sum of the interactions that may occur at some point during coronavirus RNA synthesis and provides a framework for future research.

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