Aarohi Zokarkar

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, Virginia, United States

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Publications (3)19.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cysteines were introduced into the membrane-proximal external region (MPER) of the paramyxovirus F protein. A disulfide bond formed, and the mutant protein was expressed at the cell surface but was fusion inactive. Reduction of the disulfide bond restored fusion activity. The data indicate that in addition to dissociation of the three-helix bundle stalk domain of prefusion F, the MPER region also needs to separate for F to be able to refold and cause fusion.
    Journal of Virology 09/2012; 86(22):12397-401. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Paramyxoviridae family of enveloped viruses enters cells through the concerted action of two viral glycoproteins. The receptor-binding protein, hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN), H, or G, binds its cellular receptor and activates the fusion protein, F, which, through an extensive refolding event, brings viral and cellular membranes together, mediating virus-cell fusion. However, the underlying mechanism of F activation on receptor engagement remains unclear. Current hypotheses propose conformational changes in HN, H, or G propagating from the receptor-binding site in the HN, H, or G globular head to the F-interacting stalk region. We provide evidence that the receptor-binding globular head domain of the paramyxovirus parainfluenza virus 5 HN protein is entirely dispensable for F activation. Considering together the crystal structures of HN from different paramyxoviruses, varying energy requirements for fusion activation, F activation involving the parainfluenza virus 5 HN stalk domain, and properties of a chimeric paramyxovirus HN protein, we propose a simple model for the activation of paramyxovirus fusion.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2012; 109(39):E2625-34. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Aarohi Zokarkar, Robert A Lamb
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    ABSTRACT: Paramyxoviruses enter host cells by fusing the viral envelope with a host cell membrane. Fusion is mediated by the viral fusion (F) protein, and it undergoes large irreversible conformational changes to cause membrane merger. The C terminus of PIV5 F contains a membrane-proximal 7-residue external region (MPER), followed by the transmembrane (TM) domain and a 20-residue cytoplasmic tail. To study the sequence requirements of the F protein C terminus for fusion, we constructed chimeras containing the ectodomain of parainfluenza virus 5 F (PIV5 F) and either the MPER, the TM domain, or the cytoplasmic tail of the F proteins of the paramyxoviruses measles virus, mumps virus, Newcastle disease virus, human parainfluenza virus 3, and Nipah virus. The chimeras were expressed, and their ability to cause cell fusion was analyzed. The chimeric proteins were variably expressed at the cell surface. We found that chimeras containing the ectodomain of PIV5 F with the C terminus of other paramyxoviruses were unable to cause cell fusion. Fusion could be restored by decreasing the activation energy of refolding through introduction of a destabilizing mutation (S443P). Replacing individual regions, singly or doubly, in the chimeras with native PIV5 F sequences restored fusion to various degrees, but it did not have an additive effect in restoring activity. Thus, the F protein C terminus may be a specific structure that only functions with its cognate ectodomain. Alanine scanning mutagenesis of MPER indicates that it has a regulatory role in fusion since both hyperfusogenic and hypofusogenic mutations were found.
    Journal of Virology 12/2011; 86(5):2600-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

29 Citations
19.11 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ashburn, Virginia, United States
  • 2011
    • Northwestern University
      • Department of Molecular Biosciences
      Evanston, IL, United States