A Conserved NS3 Surface Patch Orchestrates NS2 Protease Stimulation, NS5A Hyperphosphorylation and HCV Genome Replication


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) replicates its genome in close association to cellular membranes which serve as assembly site of multi-subunit replication complexes. The process of replication complex maturation must be properly controlled to prevent the non-functional maturation/assembly of these complexes. In this process, the temporal regulation of viral polyprotein processing often plays a pivotal role as exemplified by the strict requirement for NS2-NS3 cleavage for HCV genome replication. We demonstrate here that a conserved hydrophobic NS3 surface patch activates the NS2 protease to stimulate NS2-NS3 cleavage. By dissecting the role of these NS3 surface residues in viral RNA replication, we show that one of these NS3 residues is also a critical determinant for HCV genome replication by negatively regulating NS5A hyperphosphorylation. Surprisingly, further experiments revealed that the NS2-NS3 cleavage is a prerequisite for NS5A hyperphosphorylation. To fulfill the requirements for gradual assembly into functional replication complexes, an ordered cascade of molecular events takes place: in uncleaved NS2-NS3, the hydrophobic NS3 surface patch promotes NS2 protease stimulation; upon NS2-NS3 cleavage, this surface region becomes available for functional replicase assembly. As a consequence, the hydrophobic surface patch on free NS3 can promote NS5A hyperphosphorylation as an indication of functional replicase assembly.


Vyšlo v časopise: A Conserved NS3 Surface Patch Orchestrates NS2 Protease Stimulation, NS5A Hyperphosphorylation and HCV Genome Replication. PLoS Pathog 11(3): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004736
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004736

Souhrn

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) replicates its genome in close association to cellular membranes which serve as assembly site of multi-subunit replication complexes. The process of replication complex maturation must be properly controlled to prevent the non-functional maturation/assembly of these complexes. In this process, the temporal regulation of viral polyprotein processing often plays a pivotal role as exemplified by the strict requirement for NS2-NS3 cleavage for HCV genome replication. We demonstrate here that a conserved hydrophobic NS3 surface patch activates the NS2 protease to stimulate NS2-NS3 cleavage. By dissecting the role of these NS3 surface residues in viral RNA replication, we show that one of these NS3 residues is also a critical determinant for HCV genome replication by negatively regulating NS5A hyperphosphorylation. Surprisingly, further experiments revealed that the NS2-NS3 cleavage is a prerequisite for NS5A hyperphosphorylation. To fulfill the requirements for gradual assembly into functional replication complexes, an ordered cascade of molecular events takes place: in uncleaved NS2-NS3, the hydrophobic NS3 surface patch promotes NS2 protease stimulation; upon NS2-NS3 cleavage, this surface region becomes available for functional replicase assembly. As a consequence, the hydrophobic surface patch on free NS3 can promote NS5A hyperphosphorylation as an indication of functional replicase assembly.


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