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ABSTRACT: Coronaviruses are the etiological agents of respiratory and enteric diseases in humans and livestock, exemplified by the life-threatening severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). However, effective means for combating coronaviruses are still lacking. The interaction between nonstructural protein (nsp) 10 and nsp16 has been demonstrated and the crystal structure of SARS-CoV nsp16/10 complex has been revealed. As nsp10 acts as an essential trigger to activate the 2'-O-methyltransferase activity of nsp16, short peptides derived from nsp10 may have inhibitory effect on viral 2'-O-methyltransferase activity. In this study, we revealed that the domain of aa 65-107 of nsp10 was sufficient for its interaction with nsp16 and the region of aa 42-120 in nsp10, which is larger than the interaction domain, was needed for stimulating the nsp16 2'-O-methyltransferase activity. We further showed that two short peptides derived from the interaction domain of nsp10 could inhibit the 2'-O-methyltransferase activity of SARS-CoV nsp16/10 complex, thus providing a novel strategy and proof-of-principle study for developing peptide inhibitors against SARS-CoV.
Virus Research 05/2012; 167(2):322-8. · 2.75 Impact Factor