The 23-kDa protein coded by the 3'-terminal gene of citrus tristeza virus is an RNA-binding protein.
ABSTRACT The 23-kDa protein (p23), encoded by the 3'-proximal gene of the RNA of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), was overexpressed in Escherichia coli fused to the maltose-binding protein and purified by affinity chromatography. Gel retardation and UV crosslinking assays demonstrated that p23 has the ability to cooperatively bind single-stranded RNA in a non-sequence-specific manner. Formation of the p23-RNA complex was dependent on the conformational state of p23 and on the presence of a basic region, but the complex was stable at high salt concentrations, suggesting that interactions other than those between the negatively charged RNA and the basic region of p23 are involved. Competition assays showed that the affinity of p23 for single-stranded and double-stranded RNA was similar but considerably higher than for single-stranded and double-stranded DNA. By use of a series of artificially generated mutants, the RNA-binding domain of p23 was mapped between positions 50-86, a region containing several basic amino acids and a putative zinc-finger domain. Additional p23-derivatives lacking the conserved residues presumably involved in coordinating the zinc ion showed RNA-binding activity, but with an apparent dissociation constant higher than the wild-type protein. These conserved residues might confer binding specificity or increase binding stability in vivo. Within the Closteroviridae family, p23 is the only protein characterized so far showing RNA-binding activity.
Article: In vivo and in vitro expression analysis of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of Citrus tristeza virus.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Expression of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) was studied in vivo and in vitro using a polyclonal antiserum raised against the recombinant CTV-RdRp protein. Although a 57-kDa CTV-RdRp was expected to be expressed by a +1 translational frameshift at the carboxyl terminus of a 400-kDa polyprotein, a 50-kDa protein was detected in CTV-infected but not in healthy citrus tissue by Western blot. This suggests that the RdRp was cleaved from the CTV polyprotein. The 50-kDa protein was present in both the cytoplasmic and membrane fractions, but it accumulated mainly in the membrane fraction, where most of the replication-associated proteins of RNA viruses are found. When the expression of a cloned CTV-RdRp gene encoding a 60-kDa fusion protein was studied in vitro in a rabbit reticulocyte lysate system, two smaller proteins of about 50 kDa and 10 kDa were detected in addition to the expected 60-kDa protein. All three proteins were immunoprecipitated with the anti-CTV-RdRp serum, suggesting that the 50-kDa and 10-kDa proteins were fragments of the 60-kDa CTV-RdRp fusion protein. When the expression of the RdRp was analyzed at different times during in vitro translation, the 60-kDa and 50-kDa proteins were detected at all time points, and a small amount of the 10-kDa protein was detected after 30 min of translation. These results suggest that the CTV-RdRp may also be cleaved in vitro in the rabbit reticulocyte lysate.Archives of Virology 02/2008; 153(2):315-21. · 2.11 Impact Factor
Article: Ebolavirus proteins suppress the effects of small interfering RNA by direct interaction with the mammalian RNA interference pathway.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cellular RNA interference (RNAi) provides a natural response against viral infection, but some viruses have evolved mechanisms to antagonize this form of antiviral immunity. To determine whether Ebolavirus (EBOV) counters RNAi by encoding suppressors of RNA silencing (SRSs), we screened all EBOV proteins using an RNAi assay initiated by exogenously delivered small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) against either an EBOV or a reporter gene. In addition to viral protein 35 (VP35), we found that VP30 and VP40 independently act as SRSs. Here, we present the molecular mechanisms of VP30 and VP35. VP30 interacts with Dicer independently of siRNA and with one Dicer partner, TRBP, only in the presence of siRNA. VP35 directly interacts with Dicer partners TRBP and PACT in an siRNA-independent fashion and in the absence of effects on interferon (IFN). Taken together, our findings elucidate a new mechanism of RNAi suppression that extends beyond the role of SRSs in double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding and IFN antagonism. The presence of three suppressors highlights the relevance of host RNAi-dependent antiviral immunity in EBOV infection and illustrates the importance of RNAi in shaping the evolution of RNA viruses.Journal of Virology 03/2011; 85(6):2512-23. · 5.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mentha x gracilis 'Variegata' is an ornamental clone with a phenotype caused by virus infection. Several clones were ordered from mail-order nurseries in an attempt to identify a virus consistently associated with symptoms. One of these clones did not exhibit typical 'Variegata' symptoms, and steps were taken to identify any agents causing the 'off-type' symptoms. One of the viruses identified in the atypical 'Variegata' clone is a previously unknown virus, a member of the family Flexiviridae. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis indicate that the virus, designated as mint virus-2, is related to members of the species Grapevine virus A, Grapevine virus B and Heracleum latent virus, placing it in the genus Vitivirus. A detection protocol for the virus has been developed, and the mint aphid (Ovatus crataegarius) was able to transmit the virus in the presence of a helper virus but not from single infected plants.Archives of Virology 02/2007; 152(11):2027-33. · 2.11 Impact Factor