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Cleavage preference distinguishes the two-component NS2B-NS3 serine proteinases of Dengue and West Nile viruses.


ABSTRACT: Regulated proteolysis of the polyprotein precursor by the NS2B-NS3 protease is required for the propagation of infectious virions. Unless the structural and functional parameters of NS2B-NS3 are precisely determined, an understanding of its functional role and the design of flaviviral inhibitors will be exceedingly difficult. Our objectives were to define the substrate recognition pattern of the NS2B-NS3 protease of West Nile and Dengue virises (WNV and DV respectively). To accomplish our goals, we used an efficient, 96-well plate format, method for the synthesis of 9-mer peptide substrates with the general P4-P3-P2-P1-P1'-P2'-P3'-P4'-Gly structure. The N-terminus and the constant C-terminal Gly of the peptides were tagged with a fluorescent tag and with a biotin tag respectively. The synthesis was followed by the proteolytic cleavage of the synthesized, tagged peptides. Because of the strict requirement for the presence of basic amino acid residues at the P1 and the P2 substrate positions, the analysis of approx. 300 peptide sequences was sufficient for an adequate representation of the cleavage preferences of the WNV and DV proteinases. Our results disclosed the strict substrate specificity of the WNV protease for which the (K/R)(K/R)R/GG amino acid motifs was optimal. The DV protease was less selective and it tolerated well the presence of a number of amino acid residue types at either the P1' or the P2' site, as long as the other position was occupied by a glycine residue. We believe that our data represent a valuable biochemical resource and a solid foundation to support the design of selective substrates and synthetic inhibitors of flaviviral proteinases.

SUBMITTER: Shiryaev SA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1770841 | BioStudies | 2007-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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