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The novel influenza A virus protein PA-X and its naturally deleted variant show different enzymatic properties in comparison to the viral endonuclease PA.


ABSTRACT: The PA protein of Influenza A virus (IAV) encoded by segment 3 acts as a specialized RNA endonuclease in the transcription of the viral genome. The same genomic segment encodes for a second shorter protein, termed PA-X, with the first 191 N-terminal aminoacids (aa) identical to PA, but with a completely different C-ter domain of 61 aa, due to a ribosomal frameshifting. In addition, it has been shown that several IAV isolates encode for a naturally truncated PA-X variant, PAX?C20, missing the last 20 aa. The biochemical properties of PA-X and PAX?C20 have been poorly investigated so far. Here, we have carried out an enzymatic characterization of PA-X and its naturally deleted form, in comparison with PA from the human IAV strain A/WSN/33 (H1N1). Our results showed, to the best of our knowledge for the first time, that PA-X possesses an endonucleolytic activity. Both PA and PA-X preferentially cut single stranded RNA regions, but with some differences. In addition, we showed that PAX?C20 has severely reduced nuclease activity. These results point to a previously undetected role of the last C-ter 20 aa for the catalytic activity of PA-X and support distinct roles for these proteins in the viral life cycle.

SUBMITTER: Bavagnoli L 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4627086 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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