Calcium-dependent Association of Calmodulin with the Rubella Virus Nonstructural Protease Domain*
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The rubella virus (RUBV) nonstructural (NS) protease domain, a Ca(2+)- and Zn(2+)-binding papain-like cysteine protease domain within the nonstructural replicase polyprotein precursor, is responsible for the self-cleavage of the precursor into two mature products, P150 and P90, that compose the replication complex that mediates viral RNA replication; the NS protease resides at the C terminus of P150. Here we report the Ca(2+)-dependent, stoichiometric association of calmodulin (CaM) with the RUBV NS protease. Co-immunoprecipitation and pulldown assays coupled with site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that both the P150 protein and a 110-residue minidomain within NS protease interacted directly with Ca(2+)/CaM. The specific interaction was mapped to a putative CaM-binding domain. A 32-mer peptide (residues 1152-1183, denoted as RUBpep) containing the putative CaM-binding domain was used to investigate the association of RUBV NS protease with CaM or its N- and C-terminal subdomains. We found that RUBpep bound to Ca(2+)/CaM with a dissociation constant of 100-300 nm. The C-terminal subdomain of CaM preferentially bound to RUBpep with an affinity 12.5-fold stronger than the N-terminal subdomain. Fluorescence, circular dichroism and NMR spectroscopic studies revealed a "wrapping around" mode of interaction between RUBpep and Ca(2+)/CaM with substantially more helical structure in RUBpep and a global structural change in CaM upon complex formation. Using a site-directed mutagenesis approach, we further demonstrated that association of CaM with the CaM-binding domain in the RUBV NS protease was necessary for NS protease activity and infectivity.
author list (cited authors)
Zhou, Y., Tzeng, W., Wong, H., Ye, Y., Jiang, J., Chen, Y., ... Yang, J. J.