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Structure of Schmallenberg orthobunyavirus nucleoprotein suggests a novel mechanism for genome encapsidation

DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00223-13 DOI Help
PMID: 23468499 PMID Help

Authors: Haohao Dong (University of St Andrews) , Ping Li (University of St Andrews) , R. M. Elliott , Changjiang Dong (University of St Andrews)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal of Virology

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2013
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 7641

Abstract: Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a newly emerged orthobunyavirus (family Bunyaviridae), has spread rapidly across Europe and has caused congenital abnormalities in the offspring of cattle, sheep, and goats. Like other orthobunyaviruses, SBV contains a tripartite negative-sense RNA genome that encodes four structural and two nonstructural proteins. The nucleoprotein (N) encapsidates the three viral genomic RNA segments and plays a crucial role in viral RNA transcription and replication. Here we report the crystal structure of the bacterially expressed SBV nucleoprotein to a 3.06-Å resolution. The protomer is composed of two domains (N-terminal and C-terminal domains) with flexible N-terminal and C-terminal arms. The N protein has a novel fold and forms a central positively charged cleft for genomic RNA binding. The nucleoprotein purified under native conditions forms a tetramer, while the nucleoprotein obtained following denaturation and refolding forms a hexamer. Our structural and functional analyses demonstrate that both N-terminal and C-terminal arms are involved in N-N interaction and oligomerization and play an essential role in viral RNA synthesis, suggesting a novel mechanism for viral RNA encapsidation and transcription.

Journal Keywords: Crystallography ; X-Ray ; Models ; Molecular ; Nucleoproteins ; Orthobunyavirus ; Protein; RNA-Binding; Sequence; Virus; Virus Replication

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Medicine, Chemistry

Instruments: I04-Macromolecular Crystallography , I24-Microfocus Macromolecular Crystallography

Added On: 21/03/2013 16:30

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