PMID: 12633879Mar 14, 2003Paper

Signal peptide of Lassa virus glycoprotein GP-C exhibits an unusual length

FEBS Letters
Robert EichlerWolfgang Garten


Lassa virus glycoprotein is synthesized as precursor GP-C into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum and cleaved posttranslationally into the N-terminal subunit GP-1 and the C-terminal subunit GP-2 by subtilase SKI-1/S1P. The N-terminal portion of the primary translation product preGP-C contains a signal peptide of unknown length. In order to demonstrate the signal peptide cleavage site, purified viral GP-1 isolated from Lassa virus particles was N-terminally sequenced as TSLYKGV, identical to amino acids 59-65 of GP-C. Mutational analysis of the amino acid residues flanking the putative cleavage site led to non-cleavable preGP-C indicating that no other signal peptide cleavage site exists. Interestingly, GP-C mutants with a non-cleavable signal peptide were not further processed by SKI-1/S1P. This observation suggests that the signal peptide cleavage is necessary for GP-C maturation and hence for Lassa virus replication.


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