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

Cotranslational membrane insertion of the serine proteinase precursor NS2B-NS3(Pro) of dengue virus type 2 is required for efficient in vitro processing and is mediated through the hydrophobic regions of NS2B.

Polyprotein processing of dengue virus type 2, a positive strand RNA virus, is carried out by the host signal peptidase and a novel two-component viral proteinase of the serine proteinase family, NS2B/NS3(Pro), in the endoplasmic reticulum. Using an in vitro processing system, we examined the cis and trans cleavages of the 2B/3 and 4B/5 sites by NS2B/NS3(Pro), respectively. Lysates of BHK-21 cells coexpressing NS2B and NS3(Pro) mediated trans cleavage of the 4B/5 site in vitro, and the protease activity was associated with the membrane fraction. To study the role of membranes in the protease activity of NS2B/NS3(Pro), labeled precursors, NS2B-NS3(Pro), and the mutant ndNS2B-NS3(Pro) in which the functional hydrophilic domain of NS2B was deleted, were analyzed using a coupled in vitro transcription/translation system (TnT). The results showed that cotranslational addition of microsomal membranes to the TnT reaction markedly enhanced the cis cleavage of the 2B/3 site in a dose-dependent manner. NS2B synthesized in the presence of membranes also facilitated trans cleavage of the 2B/3 site in the mutant precursor. The cleavage products, NS2B and NS3(Pro), were membrane-associated. Furthermore, this membrane requirement was dictated by the hydrophobic regions of NS2B. Deletion of hydrophobic regions of NS2B, leaving only the conserved hydrophilic domain of 40 amino acids, resulted in highly efficient processing of the 2B-3 site in vitro in the absence of microsomal membranes.[1]


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