Hepatitis C virus (HCV) belongs to the Hepacivirus genus in the Flaviviridae family. Among the least known viral proteins in this family is the nonstructural protein NS4B, which has been suggested to be a part of the replication complex. Hydrophobicity plots indicate a common profile among the NS4B proteins from different members of the Flaviviridae family, suggesting a common function. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of HCV NS4B, we have determined localization and topology of this protein by using recombinant HCV NS4B constructs. The protein localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but also induced a pattern of cytoplasmic foci positive for markers of the ER. Computer predictions of the membrane topology of NS4B suggested that it has four transmembrane segments. The N and C termini were anticipated to be localized in the cytoplasm, because they are processed by the cytoplasmic NS3 protein. By introducing glycosylation sites at various positions in HCV NS4B, we show that the C terminus is cytoplasmic and the loop around residue 161 is lumenal as predicted. Surprisingly, the N-terminal tail was translocated into the lumen in a considerable fraction of the NS4B molecules, most likely by a posttranslational process. Interestingly, NS4B proteins of the yellow fever and dengue viruses also have their N termini located in the ER lumen due to an N-terminal signal peptide not found in NS4B of HCV. A shared topology achieved in two different ways supports the notion of a common function for NS4B in FLAVIVIRIDAE:

Topology of the membrane associated hepatitis C virus protein NS4B

MONNE', MAGNUS LUDVIG;
2003

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) belongs to the Hepacivirus genus in the Flaviviridae family. Among the least known viral proteins in this family is the nonstructural protein NS4B, which has been suggested to be a part of the replication complex. Hydrophobicity plots indicate a common profile among the NS4B proteins from different members of the Flaviviridae family, suggesting a common function. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of HCV NS4B, we have determined localization and topology of this protein by using recombinant HCV NS4B constructs. The protein localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but also induced a pattern of cytoplasmic foci positive for markers of the ER. Computer predictions of the membrane topology of NS4B suggested that it has four transmembrane segments. The N and C termini were anticipated to be localized in the cytoplasm, because they are processed by the cytoplasmic NS3 protein. By introducing glycosylation sites at various positions in HCV NS4B, we show that the C terminus is cytoplasmic and the loop around residue 161 is lumenal as predicted. Surprisingly, the N-terminal tail was translocated into the lumen in a considerable fraction of the NS4B molecules, most likely by a posttranslational process. Interestingly, NS4B proteins of the yellow fever and dengue viruses also have their N termini located in the ER lumen due to an N-terminal signal peptide not found in NS4B of HCV. A shared topology achieved in two different ways supports the notion of a common function for NS4B in FLAVIVIRIDAE:
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/8924
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