Structure of the vesicular stomatitis virus nucleoprotein-RNA complex.

Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1025 18th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.2). 08/2006; 313(5785):357-60. DOI: 10.1126/science.1126953
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Vesicular stomatitis virus is a negative-stranded RNA virus. Its nucleoprotein (N) binds the viral genomic RNA and is involved in multiple functions including transcription, replication, and assembly. We have determined a 2.9 angstrom structure of a complex containing 10 molecules of the N protein and 90 bases of RNA. The RNA is tightly sequestered in a cavity at the interface between two lobes of the N protein. This serves to protect the RNA in the absence of polynucleotide synthesis. For the RNA to be accessed, some conformational change in the N protein should be necessary.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The entry of enveloped viruses into cells requires the fusion of viral and cellular membranes, driven by conformational changes in viral glycoproteins. Many studies have shown that fusion involves the cooperative action of a large number of these glycoproteins, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We used electron microscopy and tomography to study the low pH-induced fusion reaction catalyzed by vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (G). Pre- and post-fusion crystal structures were observed on virions at high and low pH, respectively. Individual fusion events with liposomes were also visualized. Fusion appears to be driven by two successive structural rearrangements of G at different sites on the virion. Fusion is initiated at the flat base of the particle. Glycoproteins located outside the contact zone between virions and liposomes then reorganize into regular arrays. We suggest that the formation of these arrays, which have been shown to be an intrinsic property of the G ectodomain, induces membrane constraints, achieving the fusion reaction.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 10/2010; 191(1):199-210. · 10.82 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Genome packaging for viruses with segmented genomes is often a complex problem. This is particularly true for influenza viruses and other orthomyxoviruses, whose genome consists of multiple negative-sense RNAs encapsidated as ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes. To better understand the structural features of orthomyxovirus RNPs that allow them to be packaged, we determined the crystal structure of the nucleoprotein (NP) of a fish orthomyxovirus, the infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV) (genus Isavirus). As the major protein component of the RNPs, ISAV-NP possesses a bi-lobular structure similar to the influenza virus NP. Because both RNA-free and RNA-bound ISAV NP forms stable dimers in solution, we were able to measure the NP RNA binding affinity as well as the stoichiometry using recombinant proteins and synthetic oligos. Our RNA binding analysis revealed that each ISAV-NP binds ∼12 nts of RNA, shorter than the 24-28 nts originally estimated for the influenza A virus NP based on population average. The 12-nt stoichiometry was further confirmed by results from electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. Considering that RNPs of ISAV and the influenza viruses have similar morphologies and dimensions, our findings suggest that NP-free RNA may exist on orthomyxovirus RNPs, and selective RNP packaging may be accomplished through direct RNA-RNA interactions.
    PLoS Pathogens 09/2013; 9(9):e1003624. · 8.14 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a prototypic negative sense single-stranded RNA virus. The bullet-shape appearance of the virion results from tightly wound helical turns of the nucleoprotein encapsidated RNA template (N-RNA) around a central cavity. Transcription and replication require polymerase complexes, which include a catalytic subunit L and a template-binding subunit P. L and P are inferred to be in the cavity, however lacking direct observation, their exact position has remained unclear. Using super-resolution fluorescence imaging and atomic force microscopy (AFM) on single VSV virions, we show that L and P are packaged asymmetrically towards the blunt end of the virus. The number of L and P proteins varies between individual virions and they occupy 57 ± 12 nm of the 150 nm central cavity of the virus. Our finding positions the polymerases at the opposite end of the genome with respect to the only transcriptional promoter.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 09/2013; · 2.28 Impact Factor