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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Myristoylation of the RING finger Z protein is essential for arenavirus budding.

The arenavirus small RING finger Z protein is the main driving force of arenavirus budding. The primary structure of Z is devoid of hydrophobic transmembrane domains, but both lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and Lassa fever virus Z proteins accumulate near the inner surface of the plasma membrane and are strongly membrane associated. All known arenavirus Z proteins contain a glycine ( G) at position 2, which is a potential acceptor site for a myristoyl moiety. Metabolic labeling showed incorporation of [(3)H]myristic acid by wild-type Z protein but not by the G2A mutant. The mutation G2A eliminated Z-mediated budding. Likewise, treatment with the myristoylation inhibitor 2-hydroxymyristic acid inhibited Z-mediated budding, eliminated formation of virus-like particles, and caused a dramatic reduction in virus production in LCMV-infected cells. Budding activity was restored in G2A mutant Z proteins by the addition of the myristoylation domain of the tyrosine protein kinase Src to their N termini. These findings indicate N-terminal myristoylation of Z plays a key role in arenavirus budding.[1]


  1. Myristoylation of the RING finger Z protein is essential for arenavirus budding. Perez, M., Greenwald, D.L., de la Torre, J.C. J. Virol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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