Electrostatic analysis of the hepatitis C virus NS3 helicase reveals both active and allosteric site locations.
ABSTRACT: Multi-conformation continuum electrostatics (MCCE) was used to analyze various structures of the NS3 RNA helicase from the hepatitis C virus in order to determine the ionization state of amino acid side chains and their pK(a)s. In MCCE analyses of HCV helicase structures that lacked ligands, several active site residues were identified to have perturbed pK(a)s in both the nucleic acid binding site and in the distant ATP-binding site, which regulates helicase movement. In all HCV helicase structures, Glu493 was unusually basic and His369 was abnormally acidic. Both these residues are part of the HCV helicase nucleic acid binding site, and their roles were analyzed by examining the pH profiles of site-directed mutants. Data support the accuracy of MCCE predicted pK(a) values, and reveal that Glu493 is critical for low pH enzyme activation. Several key residues, which were previously shown to be involved in helicase-catalyzed ATP hydrolysis, were also identified to have perturbed pK(a)s including Lys210 in the Walker-A motif and the DExD/H-box motif residues Asp290 and His293. When DNA was present in the structure, the calculated pK(a)s shifted for both Lys210 and Asp290, demonstrating how DNA binding might lead to electrostatic changes that stimulate ATP hydrolysis.
Project description:ATP hydrolysis fuels the ability of helicases and related proteins to translocate on nucleic acids and separate base pairs. As a consequence, nucleic acid binding stimulates the rate at which a helicase catalyzes ATP hydrolysis. In this study, we searched a library of small molecule helicase inhibitors for compounds that stimulate ATP hydrolysis catalyzed by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 helicase, which is an important antiviral drug target. Two compounds were found that stimulate HCV helicase-catalyzed ATP hydrolysis, both of which are amide derivatives synthesized from the main component of the yellow dye primuline. Both compounds possess a terminal pyridine moiety, which was critical for stimulation. Analogs lacking a terminal pyridine inhibited HCV helicase catalyzed ATP hydrolysis. Unlike other HCV helicase inhibitors, the stimulatory compounds differentiate between helicases isolated from various HCV genotypes and related viruses. The compounds only stimulated ATP hydrolysis catalyzed by NS3 purified from HCV genotype 1b. They inhibited helicases from other HCV genotypes (e.g. 1a and 2a) or related flaviviruses (e.g. Dengue virus). The stimulatory compounds interacted with HCV helicase in the absence of ATP with dissociation constants of about 2 μM. Molecular modeling and site-directed mutagenesis studies suggest that the stimulatory compounds bind in the HCV helicase RNA-binding cleft near key residues Arg-393, Glu-493, and Ser-231.
Project description:Aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) is a potent inhibitor of many enzymes needed for cell and virus replication, such as polymerases, helicases, nucleases, and topoisomerases. This study examines how ATA interacts with the helicase encoded by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and reveals that ATA interferes with both nucleic acid and ATP binding to the enzyme. We show that ATA directly binds HCV helicase to prevent the enzyme from interacting with nucleic acids and to modulate the affinity of HCV helicase for ATP, the fuel for helicase action. Amino acid substitutions in the helicase DNA binding cleft or its ATP binding site alter the ability of ATA to disrupt helicase-DNA interactions. These data, along with molecular modeling results, support the notion that an ATA polymer binds between Arg467 and Glu493 to prevent the helicase from binding either ATP or nucleic acids. We also characterize how ATA affects the kinetics of helicase-catalyzed ATP hydrolysis, and thermodynamic parameters describing the direct interaction between HCV helicase and ATA using microcalorimetry. The thermodynamics of ATA binding to HCV helicase reveal that ATA binding does not mimic nucleic acid binding in that ATA binding is driven by a smaller enthalpy change and an increase in entropy.
Project description:This study investigates the role of magnesium ions in coupling ATP hydrolysis to the nucleic acid unwinding catalyzed by the NS3 protein encoded by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Analyses of steady-state ATP hydrolysis rates at various RNA and magnesium concentrations were used to determine values for the 15 dissociation constants describing the formation of a productive enzyme-metal-ATP-RNA complex and the four rate constants describing hydrolysis of ATP by the possible enzyme-ATP complexes. These values coupled with direct binding studies, specificity studies and analyses of site-directed mutants reveal only one ATP binding site on HCV helicase centered on the catalytic base Glu291. An adjacent residue, Asp290, binds a magnesium ion that forms a bridge to ATP, reorienting the nucleotide in the active site. RNA stimulates hydrolysis while decreasing the affinity of the enzyme for ATP, magnesium, and MgATP. The binding scheme described here explains the unusual regulation of the enzyme by ATP that has been reported previously. Binding of either free magnesium or free ATP to HCV helicase competes with MgATP, the true fuel for helicase movements, and leads to slower hydrolysis and nucleic acid unwinding.
Project description:The hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) is both a protease, which cleaves viral and host proteins, and a helicase that separates nucleic acid strands, using ATP hydrolysis to fuel the reaction. Many antiviral drugs, and compounds in clinical trials, target the NS3 protease, but few helicase inhibitors that function as antivirals have been reported. This study focuses on the analysis of the mechanism by which ebselen (2-phenyl-1,2-benzisoselenazol-3-one), a compound previously shown to be a HCV antiviral agent, inhibits the NS3 helicase. Ebselen inhibited the abilities of NS3 to unwind nucleic acids, to bind nucleic acids, and to hydrolyze ATP, and about 1 μM ebselen was sufficient to inhibit each of these activities by 50%. However, ebselen had no effect on the activity of the NS3 protease, even at 100 times higher ebselen concentrations. At concentrations below 10 μM, the ability of ebselen to inhibit HCV helicase was reversible, but prolonged incubation of HCV helicase with higher ebselen concentrations led to irreversible inhibition and the formation of covalent adducts between ebselen and all 14 cysteines present in HCV helicase. Ebselen analogues with sulfur replacing the selenium were just as potent HCV helicase inhibitors as ebselen, but the length of the linker between the phenyl and benzisoselenazol rings was critical. Modifications of the phenyl ring also affected compound potency over 30-fold, and ebselen was a far more potent helicase inhibitor than other, structurally unrelated, thiol-modifying agents. Ebselen analogues were also more effective antiviral agents, and they were less toxic to hepatocytes than ebselen. Although the above structure-activity relationship studies suggest that ebselen targets a specific site on NS3, we were unable to confirm binding to either the NS3 ATP binding site or nucleic acid binding cleft by examining the effects of ebselen on NS3 proteins lacking key cysteines.
Project description:The carboxyl terminus of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) possesses ATP-dependent RNA helicase activity. Based on the conserved sequence motifs and the crystal structures of the helicase domain, 17 mutants of the HCV NS3 helicase were generated. The ATP hydrolysis, RNA binding, and RNA unwinding activities of the mutant proteins were examined in vitro to determine the functional role of the mutated residues. The data revealed that Lys-210 in the Walker A motif and Asp-290, Glu-291, and His-293 in the Walker B motif were crucial to ATPase activity and that Thr-322 and Thr-324 in motif III and Arg-461 in motif VI significantly influenced ATPase activity. When the pairing between His-293 and Gln-460, referred to as gatekeepers, was replaced with the Asp-293/His-460 pair, which makes the NS3 helicase more like the DEAD helicase subgroup, ATPase activity was not restored. It thus indicated that the whole microenvironment surrounding the gatekeepers, rather than the residues per se, was important to the enzymatic activities. Arg-461 and Trp-501 are important residues for RNA binding, while Val-432 may only play a coadjutant role. The data demonstrated that RNA helicase activity was possibly abolished by the loss of ATPase activity or by reduced RNA binding activity. Nevertheless, a low threshold level of ATPase activity was found sufficient for helicase activity. Results in this study provide a valuable reference for efforts under way to develop anti-HCV therapeutic drugs targeting NS3.
Project description:This study examines the effects of 1-N,4-N-bis[4-(1H-benzimidazol-2-yl)phenyl]benzene-1,4-dicarboxamide ((BIP)(2)B) on the NS3 helicase encoded by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Molecular beacon-based helicase assays were used to show that (BIP)(2)B inhibits the ability of HCV helicase to separate a variety of RNA and DNA duplexes with half-maximal inhibitory concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 5 microM, depending on the nature of the substrate. In single turnover assays, (BIP)(2)B only inhibited unwinding reactions when it was preincubated with the helicase-nucleic acid complex. (BIP)(2)B quenched NS3 intrinsic protein fluorescence with an apparent dissociation constant of 5 microM, and in the presence of (BIP)(2)B, HCV helicase did not appear to interact with a fluorescent DNA oligonucleotide. In assays monitoring HCV helicase-catalyzed ATP hydrolysis, (BIP)(2)B only inhibited helicase-catalyzed ATP hydrolysis in the presence of intermediate concentrations of RNA, suggesting RNA and (BIP)(2)B compete for the same binding site. HCV helicases isolated from various HCV genotypes were similarly sensitive to (BIP)(2)B, with half-maximal inhibitory concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 2.4 microM. (BIP)(2)B also inhibited ATP hydrolysis catalyzed by related helicases from Dengue virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, and humans. (BIP)(2)B appeared to bind the HCV and human proteins with similar affinity (K(i) = 7 and 8 microM, respectively), but it bound the flavivirus proteins up to 270 times more tightly. Results are discussed in light of a molecular model of a (BIP)(2)B-HCV helicase complex, which is unable to bind nucleic acid, thus preventing the enzyme from separating double-stranded nucleic acid.
Project description:In flaviviruses and hepatitis C virus (HCV), the NS3 gene encodes the N-terminal protease (NS3pro) and the C-terminal helicase (NS3hel). In HCV, the downstream NS4A is required for the NS3pro activity and exhibits a conserved EFDEMEE motif. To identify the role of this motif, we compared the ATPase and helicase activities of NS3 alone with those of the NS3-NS4A constructs. Our results suggest that the EFDEMEE motif is essential for regulating the ATPase activity of NS3hel. It is likely that this motif interferes with the ATP-binding site of NS3hel. It is becoming clear that NS4A functions as a cofactor of both proteinase and helicase in HCV.
Project description:The NS3 helicase of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) unwinds double-stranded (ds) nucleic acid (NA) in an NTP-dependent fashion. Mechanistic details of this process are, however, largely unknown for the HCV helicase. We have studied the binding of dsDNA to an engineered version of subdomain 2 of the HCV helicase (d(2Delta)NS3h) by NMR and circular dichroism. Binding of dsDNA to d(2Delta)NS3h induces a local unfolding of helix (alpha(3)), which includes residues of conserved helicase motif VI (Q(460)RxxRxxR(467)), and strands (beta(1) and beta(8)) from the central beta-sheet. This also occurs upon lowering the pH (4.4) and introducing an R461A point mutation, which disrupt salt bridges with Asp 412 and Asp 427 in the protein structure. NMR studies on d(2Delta)NS3h in the partially unfolded state at low pH map the dsDNA binding site to residues previously shown to be involved in single-stranded DNA binding. Sequence alignment and structural comparison suggest that these Arg-Asp interactions are highly conserved in SF2 DEx(D/H) proteins. Thus, modulation of these interactions by dsNA may allow SF2 helicases to switch between conformations required for helicase function.
Project description:Nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) of hepatitis C virus (HCV), codes for protease and helicase carrying NTPase enzymatic activities, plays a crucial role in viral replication and an ideal target for diagnosis, antiviral therapy and vaccine development. In this study, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to NS3 helicase were characterized by epitope mapping and biological function test. A total of 29 monoclonal antibodies were produced to the truncated NS3 helicase of HCV-1b (T1b-rNS3, aa1192-1459). Six mAbs recognized 8/29 16mer peptides, which contributed to identify 5 linear and 1 discontinuous putative epitope sequences. Seven mAbs reacted with HCV-2a JFH-1 infected Huh-7.5.1 cells by immunofluorescent staining, of which 2E12 and 3E5 strongly bound to the exposed linear epitope (1231)PTGSGKSTK(1239) (EP05) or core motif (1373)IPFYGKAI(1380) (EP21), respectively. Five other mAbs recognized semi-conformational or conformational epitopes of HCV helicase. MAb 2E12 binds to epitope EP05 at the ATP binding site of motif I in domain 1, while mAb 3E5 reacts with epitope EP21 close to helicase nucleotide binding region of domain 2. Epitope EP05 is totally conserved and EP21 highly conserved across HCV genotypes. These two epitope peptides reacted strongly with 59-79% chronic and weakly with 30-58% resolved HCV infected blood donors, suggesting that these epitopes were dominant in HCV infection. MAb 2E12 inhibited 50% of unwinding activity of NS3 helicase in vitro. Novel monoclonal antibodies recognize highly conserved epitopes at crucial functional sites within NS3 helicase, which may become important antibodies for diagnosis and antiviral therapy in chronic HCV infection.
Project description:Helicases are molecular machines that utilize energy derived from ATP hydrolysis to move along nucleic acids and to separate base-paired nucleotides. The movement of the helicase can also be described as a stationary helicase that pumps nucleic acid. Recent structural data for the hexameric E1 helicase of papillomavirus in complex with single-stranded DNA and MgADP has provided a detailed atomic and mechanistic picture of its ATP-driven DNA translocation. The structural and mechanistic features of this helicase are compared with the hexameric helicase prototypes T7gp4 and SV40 T-antigen. The ATP-binding site architectures of these proteins are structurally similar to the sites of other prototypical ATP-driven motors such as F1-ATPase, suggesting related roles for the individual site residues in the ATPase activity.