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Conformational plasticity of hepatitis C virus core protein enables RNA-induced formation of nucleocapsid-like particles


Holmstrom, Erik D; Nettels, Daniel; Schuler, Benjamin (2018). Conformational plasticity of hepatitis C virus core protein enables RNA-induced formation of nucleocapsid-like particles. Journal of Molecular Biology, 430(16):2453-2467.

Abstract

Many of the unanswered questions associated with hepatitis C virus assembly are related to the core protein (HCVcp), which forms an oligomeric nucleocapsid encompassing the viral genome. The structural properties of HCVcp have been difficult to quantify, at least in part because it is an intrinsically disordered protein. We have used single-molecule Förster Resonance Energy Transfer techniques to study the conformational dimensions and dynamics of the HCVcp nucleocapsid domain (HCVncd) at various stages during the RNA-induced formation of nucleocapsid-like particles. Our results indicate that HCVncd is a typical intrinsically disordered protein. When it forms small ribonucleoprotein complexes with various RNA hairpins from the 3' end of the HCV genome, it compacts but remains intrinsically disordered and conformationally dynamic. Above a critical RNA concentration, these ribonucleoprotein complexes rapidly and cooperatively assemble into large nucleocapsid-like particles, wherein the individual HCVncd subunits become substantially more extended.

Abstract

Many of the unanswered questions associated with hepatitis C virus assembly are related to the core protein (HCVcp), which forms an oligomeric nucleocapsid encompassing the viral genome. The structural properties of HCVcp have been difficult to quantify, at least in part because it is an intrinsically disordered protein. We have used single-molecule Förster Resonance Energy Transfer techniques to study the conformational dimensions and dynamics of the HCVcp nucleocapsid domain (HCVncd) at various stages during the RNA-induced formation of nucleocapsid-like particles. Our results indicate that HCVncd is a typical intrinsically disordered protein. When it forms small ribonucleoprotein complexes with various RNA hairpins from the 3' end of the HCV genome, it compacts but remains intrinsically disordered and conformationally dynamic. Above a critical RNA concentration, these ribonucleoprotein complexes rapidly and cooperatively assemble into large nucleocapsid-like particles, wherein the individual HCVncd subunits become substantially more extended.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Molecular Biology
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:16 Mar 2018 19:52
Last Modified:16 Oct 2018 00:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-2836
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2017.10.010
PubMed ID:29045818

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