Nucleolin is essential for rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus replication by providing a physical link in replication complex formation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
J. ZhuGuangqing Liu


Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) is an important member of the Caliciviridae family and cannot be propagated in vitro , which has greatly impeded progress of investigating its replication mechanism. Construction of an RHDV replicon system has recently provided a platform for exploring RHDV replication in host cells. Here, aided by this replicon system and using two-step affinity purification, we purified the RHDV replicase and identified its associated host factors. We identified rabbit nucleolin (NCL) as a physical link required for the formation of RHDV replication complexes (RCs), by mediating the interaction between other host proteins and the viral RNA replicase, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). We found that RHDV RdRp uses an amino acid (aa) region spanning residues 448-478 to directly interact with NCLs RNA-recognition motif 2. We also found that the viral p16 protein uses a highly conserved region ( 35 Cys-Ile-Arg-Ala 38 or CIRA motif) to specifically bind the N-terminal region of NCL (aa 1-110) and that RHDV p23 uses a specific domain (aa 90-145) to bind NCLs RNA-recognition motif 1. Disrupting these protein-protein interactions severely weakened viral replication. Furthermore, NCL overexpression or knockdo...Continue Reading

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