Bovine viral diarrhea virus NS3 serine proteinase: polyprotein cleavage sites, cofactor requirements, and molecular model of an enzyme essential for pestivirus replication.
ABSTRACT: Members of the Flaviviridae encode a serine proteinase termed NS3 that is responsible for processing at several sites in the viral polyproteins. In this report, we show that the NS3 proteinase of the pestivirus bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) (NADL strain) is required for processing at nonstructural (NS) protein sites 3/4A, 4A/4B, 4B/5A, and 5A/5B but not for cleavage at the junction between NS2 and NS3. Cleavage sites of the proteinase were determined by amino-terminal sequence analysis of the NS4A, NS4B, NS5A, and NS5B proteins. A conserved leucine residue is found at the P1 position of all four cleavage sites, followed by either serine (3/4A, 4B/5A, and 5A/5B sites) or alanine (4A/4B site) at the P1' position. Consistent with this cleavage site preference, a structural model of the pestivirus NS3 proteinase predicts a highly hydrophobic P1 specificity pocket. trans-Processing experiments implicate the 64-residue NS4A protein as an NS3 proteinase cofactor required for cleavage at the 4B/5A and 5A/5B sites. Finally, using a full-length functional BVDV cDNA clone, we demonstrate that a catalytically active NS3 serine proteinase is essential for pestivirus replication.
Project description:The genus Pestivirus of the family Flaviviridae comprises three established species, namely, bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), classical swine fever virus (CSFV), and border disease virus from sheep (BDV). In this study, we report the first complete nucleotide sequence of BDV, that of strain X818. The genome is 12,333 nucleotides long and contains one long open reading frame encoding 3, 895 amino acids. The 5' noncoding region (NCR) of BDV X818 consists of 372 nucleotides and is thus similar in length to the 5' NCR reported for other pestiviruses. The 3' NCR of X818 is 273 nucleotides long and thereby at least 32 nucleotides longer than the 3' NCR of pestiviruses analyzed thus far. Within the 3' NCR of BDV X818, the sequence motif TATTTATTTA was identified at four locations. The same repeat was found at two or three locations within the 3' NCR of different CSFV isolates but was absent in the 3' NCR of BVDV. Analysis of five additional BDV strains showed that the 3' NCR sequences are highly conserved within this species. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of X818 with the ones of other pestiviruses allowed the prediction of polyprotein cleavage sites which were conserved with regard to the structural proteins. It has been reported for two BVDV strains that cleavage at the nonstructural (NS) protein sites 3/4A, 4A/4B, 4B/5A, and 5A/5B is mediated by the NS3 serine protease and for each site a conserved leucine was found at the P1 position followed by either serine or alanine at P1' (N. Tautz, K. Elbers, D. Stoll, G. Meyers, and H.-J. Thiel, J. Virol. 71:5415-5422, 1997; J. Xu, E. Mendez, P. R. Caron, C. Lin, M. A. Murcko, M. S. Collett, and C. M. Rice, J. Virol. 71:5312-5322). Interestingly, P1' of the predicted NS5A/5B cleavage site of BDV is represented by an asparagine residue. Transient expression studies demonstrated that this unusual NS5A/5B processing site is efficiently cleaved by the NS3 serine protease of BDV.
Project description:Processing of the hepatitis C virus polyprotein is mediated by host cell signalases and at least two virally encoded proteinases. Of these, the serine-type proteinase encompassing the amino-terminal one-third of NS3 is responsible for cleavage at the four sites carboxy terminal of NS3. The activity of this proteinase is modulated by NS4A, a 54-amino-acid polyprotein cleavage product essential for processing at the NS3/4A, NS4A/4B, and NS4B/5A sites and enhancing cleavage efficiency between NS5A and NS5B. Using the vaccinia virus-T7 hybrid system to express hepatitis C virus polypeptides in BHK-21 cells, we studied the role of NS4A in proteinase activation. We found that the NS3 proteinase and NS4A form a stable complex when expressed as a single polyprotein or as separate molecules. Results from deletion mapping show that the minimal NS4A domain required for proteinase activation is located in the center of NS4A between amino acids 1675 and 1686 of the polyprotein. Amino acid substitutions within this domain destabilizing the NS3-NS4A complex also impair trans cleavage at the NS4A-dependent sites. Similarly, deletion of amino-terminal NS3 sequences impairs complex formation as well as cleavage at the NS4B/5A site but not at the NS4A-independent NS5A/5B site. These results suggest that a stable NS3-NS4A interaction is important for cleavage at the NS4A-dependent sites and that amino-terminal NS3 sequences and the central NS4A domain are directly involved in complex formation.
Project description:Inspection of over 250 hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome sequences shows that a threonine is strictly conserved at the P1 position in the NS3-NS4A (NS3-4A) autoproteolysis junction, while a cysteine is maintained as the P1 residue in all of the putative trans cleavage sites (NS4A-4B, NS4B-5A, and NS5A-5B). To understand why T631 is conserved at the NS3-4A junction of HCV, a series of in vitro transcription-translation studies were carried out using wild-type and mutant (T631C) NS3-4A constructs bearing native, truncated, and mutant NS4A segments. The autocleavage of the wild-type junction was found to be dependent on the presence of the central cofactor domain of NS4A (residues 21 to 34). In contrast, all NS3-4A T631C mutant proteins underwent self-cleavage even in the absence of the cofactor. Subgenomic replicons derived from the Con1 strain of HCV and bearing the T631C mutation showed reduced levels of colony formation in transfection studies. Similarly, replicons derived from a second genotype 1b virus, HCV-N, demonstrated a comparable reduction in replication efficiency in transient-transfection assays. These data suggest that the threonine is conserved at position 631 because it serves two functions: (i) to slow processing at the NS3-4A cleavage site, ensuring proper intercalation of the NS4A cofactor with NS3 prior to polyprotein scission, and (ii) to prevent subsequent product inhibition by the NS3 C terminus.
Project description:A transient protein expression system in COS-1 cells was used to study the role of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-encoded NS4A protein on HCV nonstructural polyprotein processing. By analyzing the protein expression and processing of a deletion mutant polypeptide, NS delta 4A, which encodes the entire putative HCV nonstructural polyprotein except the region encoding NS4A, the versatile functions of NS4A were revealed. Most of the NS3 processed from NS delta 4A was localized in the cytosol fraction and was degraded promptly. Coproduction of NS4A stabilizes NS3 and assists in its localization in the membrane. NS4A was found to be indispensable for cleavage at the 4B/5A site but not essential for cleavage at the 5A/5B site in NS delta 4A. The functioning of NS4A as a cofactor for cleavage at the 4B/5A site was also observed when 30 amino acids around this site was used as a substrate and a serine proteinase domain of 167 amino acids, from Gly-1049 to Ser-1215, was used as an enzyme protein, suggesting that possible domains for the interaction of NS4A were in those regions of the enzyme protein (NS3) and/or the substrate protein. Two proteins, p58 and p56, were produced from NS5A. For the production of p58, equal or excess molar amounts of NS4A relative to NS delta 4A were required. Deletion analysis of NS4A revealed a minimum functional domain of NS4A of 10 amino acids, from Gly-1678 to Ile-1687.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) serine proteinase (Cpro-2) is responsible for the processing of HCV nonstructural (NS) protein processing. To clarify the mechanism of Cpro-2-dependent processing, pulse-chase and mutation analyses were performed by using a transient protein production system in cultured cells. Pulse-chase study revealed the sequential production of HCV-NS proteins. Production of p70(NS3) and p66(NS5B) were rapid. An 89-kDa processing intermediate protein (p89) was observed during the early part of the chase. p89 seemed to be cleaved first into a 31-kDa protein (p31) and a p58/56(NS5A). p31 was further processed into p4(NS4A) and p27(NS4B). Mutation analysis of cleavage sites of NS4A/4B, NS4B/5A, and NS5A/5B revealed that cleavage at each site is essentially independent from cleavage occurring at the other site.
Project description:Replication of the genotype 2 hepatitis C virus (HCV) requires hyperphosphorylation of the nonstructural protein NS5A. It has been known that NS5A hyperphosphorylation results from the phosphorylation of a cluster of highly conserved serine residues (S2201, S2208, S2211, and S2214) in a sequential manner. It has also been known that NS5A hyperphosphorylation requires an NS3 protease encoded on one single NS3-5A polyprotein. It was unknown whether NS3 protease participates in this sequential phosphorylation process. Using an inventory of antibodies specific to S2201, S2208, S2211, and S2214 phosphorylation, we found that protease-dead S1169A mutation abrogated NS5A hyperphosphorylation and phosphorylation at all serine residues measured, consistent with the role of NS3 in NS5A sequential phosphorylation. These effects were not rescued by a wild-type NS3 protease provided in <i>trans</i> by another molecule. Mutations (T1661R, T1661Y, or T1661D) that prohibited proper cleavage at the NS3-4A junction also abolished NS5A hyperphosphorylation and phosphorylation at all serine residues, whereas mutations at the other cleavage sites, NS4A-4B (C1715S) or NS4B-5A (C1976F), did not. In fact, any combinatory mutations that prohibited NS3-4A cleavage (T1661Y/C1715S or T1661Y/C1976F) abrogated NS5A hyperphosphorylation and phosphorylation at all serine residues. In the C1715S/C1976F double mutant, which resulted in an NS4A-NS4B-NS5A fusion polyprotein, a hyperphosphorylated band was observed and was phosphorylated at all serine residues. We conclude that NS3-mediated autocleavage at the NS3-4A junction is critical to NS5A hyperphosphorylation at S2201, S2208, S2211, and S2214 and that NS5A hyperphosphorylation could occur in an NS4A-NS4B-NS5A polyprotein.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> For ca. 20 years, the HCV protease NS3 has been implicated in NS5A hyperphosphorylation. We now show that it is the NS3-mediated <i>cis</i> cleavage at the NS3-4A junction that permits NS5A phosphorylation at serines 2201, 2208, 2211, and 2214, leading to hyperphosphorylation, which is a necessary condition for genotype 2 HCV replication. We further show that NS5A may already be phosphorylated at these serine residues right after NS3-4A cleavage and before NS5A is released from the NS4A-5A polyprotein. Our data suggest that the dual-functional NS3, a protease and an ATP-binding RNA helicase, could have a direct or indirect role in NS5A hyperphosphorylation.
Project description:The hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome encodes a long polyprotein, which is processed by host cell and viral proteases to the individual structural and non-structural (NS) proteins. HCV NS3/4A serine proteinase (NS3/4A) is a non-covalent heterodimer of the N-terminal, ?180-residue portion of the 631-residue NS3 protein with the NS4A co-factor. NS3/4A cleaves the polyprotein sequence at four specific regions. NS3/4A is essential for viral replication and has been considered an attractive drug target.Using a novel multiplex cleavage assay and over 2,660 peptide sequences derived from the polyprotein and from introducing mutations into the known NS3/4A cleavage sites, we obtained the first detailed fingerprint of NS3/4A cleavage preferences. Our data identified structural requirements illuminating the importance of both the short-range (P1-P1') and long-range (P6-P5) interactions in defining the NS3/4A substrate cleavage specificity. A newly observed feature of NS3/4A was a high frequency of either Asp or Glu at both P5 and P6 positions in a subset of the most efficient NS3/4A substrates. In turn, aberrations of this negatively charged sequence such as an insertion of a positively charged or hydrophobic residue between the negatively charged residues resulted in inefficient substrates. Because NS5B misincorporates bases at a high rate, HCV constantly mutates as it replicates. Our analysis revealed that mutations do not interfere with polyprotein processing in over 5,000 HCV isolates indicating a pivotal role of NS3/4A proteolysis in the virus life cycle.Our multiplex assay technology in light of the growing appreciation of the role of proteolytic processes in human health and disease will likely have widespread applications in the proteolysis research field and provide new therapeutic opportunities.
Project description:The objective was to determine the cytochrome P450s (CYPs) responsible for the stereoselective and regiospecific hydroxylation of ketamine [(R,S)-Ket] to diastereomeric hydroxyketamines, (2S,6S;2R,6R)-HK (5a) and (2S,6R;2R,6S)-HK (5b) and norketamine [(R,S)-norKet] to hydroxynorketamines, (2S,6S;2R,6R)-HNK (4a), (2S,6R;2R,6S)-HNK (4b), (2S,5S;2R,5R)-HNK (4c), (2S,4S;2R,4R)-HNK (4d), (2S,4R;2R,4S)-HNK (4e), (2S,5R;2R,5S)-HNK (4f). The enantiomers of Ket and norKet were incubated with characterized human liver microsomes (HLMs) and expressed CYPs. Metabolites were identified and quantified using LC/MS/MS and apparent kinetic constants estimated using single-site Michaelis-Menten, Hill or substrate inhibition equation. 5a was predominantly formed from (S)-Ket by CYP2A6 and N-demethylated to 4a by CYP2B6. 5b was formed from (R)- and (S)-Ket by CYP3A4/3A5 and N-demethylated to 4b by multiple enzymes. norKet incubation produced 4a, 4c and 4f and minor amounts of 4d and 4e. CYP2A6 and CYP2B6 were the major enzymes responsible for the formation of 4a, 4d and 4f, and CYP3A4/3A5 for the formation of 4e. The 4b metabolite was not detected in the norKet incubates. 5a and 4b were detected in plasma samples from patients receiving (R,S)-Ket, indicating that 5a and 5b are significant Ket metabolites. Large variations in HNK concentrations were observed suggesting that pharmacogenetics and/or metabolic drug interactions may play a role in therapeutic response.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Induction of membrane rearrangements in the cytoplasm of infected cells is a hallmark of positive-strand RNA viruses. These altered membranes serve as scaffolds for the assembly of viral replication factories (RFs). We have recently shown that hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection induces endoplasmic reticulum-derived double-membrane vesicles (DMVs) representing the major constituent of the RF within the infected cell. RF formation requires the concerted action of nonstructural action of nonstructural protein (NS)3, -4A, protein (NS)3 -4A, -4B, -5A, and -5B. Although the sole expression of NS5A is sufficient to induce DMV formation, its efficiency is very low. In this study, we dissected the determinants within NS5A responsible for DMV formation and found that RNA-binding domain 1 (D1) and the amino-terminal membrane anchor are indispensable for this process. In contrast, deletion of NS5A D2 or D3 did not affect DMV formation but disrupted RNA replication and virus assembly, respectively. To identify cis- and trans-acting factors of DMV formation, we established a trans cleavage assay. We found that induction of DMVs requires full-length NS3, whereas a helicase-lacking mutant was unable to trigger DMV formation in spite of efficient polyprotein cleavage. Importantly, a mutation accelerating cleavage kinetics at the NS4B-5A site diminished DMV formation, while the insertion of an internal ribosome entry site mimicking constitutive cleavage at this boundary completely abolished this process. These results identify key determinants governing the biogenesis of the HCV RF with possible implications for our understanding of how RFs are formed in other positive-strand RNA viruses. IMPORTANCE:Like all positive-strand RNA viruses, hepatitis C virus (HCV) extensively reorganizes intracellular membranes to allow efficient RNA replication. Double-membrane vesicles (DMVs) that putatively represent sites of HCV RNA amplification are induced by the concerted action of viral and cellular factors. However, the contribution of individual proteins to this process remains poorly understood. Here we identify determinants in the HCV replicase that are required for DMV biogenesis. Major contributors to this process are domain 1 of nonstructural protein 5A and the helicase domain of nonstructural protein 3. In addition, efficient DMV induction depends on cis cleavage of the viral polyprotein, as well as tightly regulated cleavage kinetics. These results identify key determinants governing the biogenesis of the HCV replication factory with possible implications for our understanding of how this central compartment is formed in other positive-strand RNA viruses.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Development of compensatory mutations within the HIV p7/p1 and p1/p6 protease cleavage site region has been observed in HIV-infected patients treated with protease inhibitors. Mechanisms of fitness compensation may occur in HCV populations upon treatment of HCV protease inhibitors as well. FINDINGS: In this study, we investigated whether substitutions in protease cleavage site regions of HCV occur in response to a treatment regimen containing the NS3/4A protease inhibitor telaprevir (TVR). Evaluation of viral populations from 569 patients prior to treatment showed that the four NS3/4A cleavage sites were well conserved. Few changes in the cleavage site regions were observed in the 159 patients who failed TVR combination treatment, and no residues displayed evidence of directional selection after the acquisition of TVR-resistance. CONCLUSIONS: Cleavage site mutations did not occur after treatment with the HCV protease inhibitor telaprevir.