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A conserved proline between domains II and III of hepatitis C virus NS5A influences both RNA replication and virus assembly.

Authors
  • Hughes, Mair
  • Gretton, Sarah
  • Shelton, Holly
  • Brown, David D
  • McCormick, Christopher J
  • Angus, Allan G N
  • Patel, Arvind H
  • Griffin, Stephen
  • Harris, Mark
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Virology
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2009
Volume
83
Issue
20
Pages
10788–10796
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02406-08
PMID: 19656877
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We previously demonstrated that two closely spaced polyproline motifs, with the consensus sequence Pro-X-X-Pro-X-Lys/Arg, located between residues 343 to 356 of NS5A, mediated interactions with cellular SH3 domains. The N-terminal motif (termed PP2.1) is only conserved in genotype 1 isolates, whereas the C-terminal motif (PP2.2) is conserved throughout all hepatitis C virus (HCV) isolates, although this motif was shown to be dispensable for replication of the genotype 1b subgenomic replicon. In order to investigate the potential role of these motifs in the viral life cycle, we have undertaken a detailed mutagenic analysis of these proline residues in the context of both genotype 1b (FK5.1) or 2a subgenomic replicons and the genotype 2a infectious clone, JFH-1. We show that the PP2.2 motif is dispensable for RNA replication of all subgenomic replicons and, furthermore, is not required for virus production in JFH-1. In contrast, the PP2.1 motif is only required for genotype 1b RNA replication. Mutation of proline 346 within PP2.1 to alanine dramatically attenuated genotype 1b replicon replication in three distinct genetic backgrounds, but the corresponding proline 342 was not required for replication of the JFH-1 subgenomic replicon. However, the P342A mutation resulted in both a delay to virus release and a modest (up to 10-fold) reduction in virus production. These data point to critical roles for these proline residues at multiple stages in the HCV life cycle; however, they also caution against extrapolation of data from culture-adapted replicons to infectious virus.

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