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

Signal peptidase cleavage at the flavivirus C-prM junction: dependence on the viral NS2B-3 protease for efficient processing requires determinants in C, the signal peptide, and prM.

Signal peptidase cleavage at the C-prM junction in the flavivirus structural polyprotein is inefficient in the absence of the cytoplasmic viral protease, which catalyzes cleavage at the COOH terminus of the C protein. The signal peptidase cleavage occurs efficiently in circumstances where the C protein is deleted or if the viral protease complex is present. In this study, we used cDNA of Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVE) to examine features of the structural polyprotein which allow this regulation of a luminal cleavage by a cytoplasmic protease. We found that the inefficiency of signal peptidase cleavage in the absence of the viral protease is not attributable solely to features of the C protein. Inhibition of cleavage still occurred when charged residues in C were mutated to uncharged residues or when an unrelated protein sequence (that of ubiquitin) was substituted for C. Also, fusion of the C protein did not inhibit processing of an alternative adjacent signal sequence. The cleavage region of the flavivirus prM translocation signal is unusually hydrophobic, and we established that altering this characteristic by making three point mutations near the signal peptidase cleavage site in MVE prM dramatically increased the extent of cleavage without requiring removal of the C protein. In addition, we demonstrated that luminal sequences downstream from the signal peptidase cleavage site contributed to the inefficiency of cleavage.[1]


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