West Nile virus 5′-cap structure is formed by sequential guanine N-7 and ribose 2′-O methylations by nonstructural protein 5

Debashish Ray, Aaloki Shah, Mark Tilgner, Yi Guo, Yiwei Zhao, Hongping Dong, Tia S. Deas, Yangsheng Zhou, Hongmin Li, Pei-Yong Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

231 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many flaviviruses are globally important human pathogens. Their plus-strand RNA genome contains a 5′-cap structure that is methylated at the guanine N-7 and the ribose 2′-OH positions of the first transcribed nucleotide, adenine (m7GpppAm). Using West Nile virus (WNY), we demonstrate, for the first time, that the nonstructural protein 5 (NS5) mediates both guanine N-7 and ribose 2′-O methylations and therefore is essential for flavivirus 5′-cap formation. We show that a recombinant full-length and a truncated NS5 protein containing the methyltransferase (MTase) domain methylates GpppA-capped and m7GpppA-capped RNAs to m7GpppAm-RNA, using S-adenosylmethionine as a methyl donor. Furthermore, methylation of GpppA-capped RNA sequentially yielded m7GpppA- and m 7GpppAm-RNA products, indicating that guanine N-7 precedes ribose 2′-O methylation. Mutagenesis of a K61-D146-K 182-E218 tetrad conserved in other cellular and viral MTases suggests that NS5 requires distinct amino acids for its N-7 and 2′-O MTase activities. The entire K61-D146-K 182-E218 motif is essential for 2′-O MTase activity, whereas N-7 MTase activity requires only D146. The other three amino acids facilitate, but are not essential for, guanine N-7 methylation. Amino acid substitutions within the K61-D146-K 182-E218 motif in a WNV luciferase-reporting replicon significantly reduced or abolished viral replication in cells. Additionally, the mutant MTase-mediated replication defect could not be trans complemented by a wild-type replicase complex. These findings demonstrate a critical role for the flavivirus MTase in viral reproduction and underscore this domain as a potential target for antiviral therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8362-8370
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume80
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

West Nile virus
Ribose
ribose
guanine
methyltransferases
Guanine
methylation
Methylation
Flavivirus
RNA
Methyltransferases
Proteins
proteins
Protein Methyltransferases
Amino Acids
S-Adenosylmethionine
Replicon
Flaviviridae
Adenine Nucleotides
replicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

West Nile virus 5′-cap structure is formed by sequential guanine N-7 and ribose 2′-O methylations by nonstructural protein 5. / Ray, Debashish; Shah, Aaloki; Tilgner, Mark; Guo, Yi; Zhao, Yiwei; Dong, Hongping; Deas, Tia S.; Zhou, Yangsheng; Li, Hongmin; Shi, Pei-Yong.

In: Journal of Virology, Vol. 80, No. 17, 09.2006, p. 8362-8370.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ray, Debashish ; Shah, Aaloki ; Tilgner, Mark ; Guo, Yi ; Zhao, Yiwei ; Dong, Hongping ; Deas, Tia S. ; Zhou, Yangsheng ; Li, Hongmin ; Shi, Pei-Yong. / West Nile virus 5′-cap structure is formed by sequential guanine N-7 and ribose 2′-O methylations by nonstructural protein 5. In: Journal of Virology. 2006 ; Vol. 80, No. 17. pp. 8362-8370.
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abstract = "Many flaviviruses are globally important human pathogens. Their plus-strand RNA genome contains a 5′-cap structure that is methylated at the guanine N-7 and the ribose 2′-OH positions of the first transcribed nucleotide, adenine (m7GpppAm). Using West Nile virus (WNY), we demonstrate, for the first time, that the nonstructural protein 5 (NS5) mediates both guanine N-7 and ribose 2′-O methylations and therefore is essential for flavivirus 5′-cap formation. We show that a recombinant full-length and a truncated NS5 protein containing the methyltransferase (MTase) domain methylates GpppA-capped and m7GpppA-capped RNAs to m7GpppAm-RNA, using S-adenosylmethionine as a methyl donor. Furthermore, methylation of GpppA-capped RNA sequentially yielded m7GpppA- and m 7GpppAm-RNA products, indicating that guanine N-7 precedes ribose 2′-O methylation. Mutagenesis of a K61-D146-K 182-E218 tetrad conserved in other cellular and viral MTases suggests that NS5 requires distinct amino acids for its N-7 and 2′-O MTase activities. The entire K61-D146-K 182-E218 motif is essential for 2′-O MTase activity, whereas N-7 MTase activity requires only D146. The other three amino acids facilitate, but are not essential for, guanine N-7 methylation. Amino acid substitutions within the K61-D146-K 182-E218 motif in a WNV luciferase-reporting replicon significantly reduced or abolished viral replication in cells. Additionally, the mutant MTase-mediated replication defect could not be trans complemented by a wild-type replicase complex. These findings demonstrate a critical role for the flavivirus MTase in viral reproduction and underscore this domain as a potential target for antiviral therapy.",
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AU - Shah, Aaloki

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AU - Guo, Yi

AU - Zhao, Yiwei

AU - Dong, Hongping

AU - Deas, Tia S.

AU - Zhou, Yangsheng

AU - Li, Hongmin

AU - Shi, Pei-Yong

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AB - Many flaviviruses are globally important human pathogens. Their plus-strand RNA genome contains a 5′-cap structure that is methylated at the guanine N-7 and the ribose 2′-OH positions of the first transcribed nucleotide, adenine (m7GpppAm). Using West Nile virus (WNY), we demonstrate, for the first time, that the nonstructural protein 5 (NS5) mediates both guanine N-7 and ribose 2′-O methylations and therefore is essential for flavivirus 5′-cap formation. We show that a recombinant full-length and a truncated NS5 protein containing the methyltransferase (MTase) domain methylates GpppA-capped and m7GpppA-capped RNAs to m7GpppAm-RNA, using S-adenosylmethionine as a methyl donor. Furthermore, methylation of GpppA-capped RNA sequentially yielded m7GpppA- and m 7GpppAm-RNA products, indicating that guanine N-7 precedes ribose 2′-O methylation. Mutagenesis of a K61-D146-K 182-E218 tetrad conserved in other cellular and viral MTases suggests that NS5 requires distinct amino acids for its N-7 and 2′-O MTase activities. The entire K61-D146-K 182-E218 motif is essential for 2′-O MTase activity, whereas N-7 MTase activity requires only D146. The other three amino acids facilitate, but are not essential for, guanine N-7 methylation. Amino acid substitutions within the K61-D146-K 182-E218 motif in a WNV luciferase-reporting replicon significantly reduced or abolished viral replication in cells. Additionally, the mutant MTase-mediated replication defect could not be trans complemented by a wild-type replicase complex. These findings demonstrate a critical role for the flavivirus MTase in viral reproduction and underscore this domain as a potential target for antiviral therapy.

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