Tacaribe virus Z protein interacts with the L polymerase protein to inhibit viral RNA synthesis

Journal of Virology
R JácamoMaria T Franze-Fernandez


Tacaribe virus (TV) is the prototype of the New World group of arenaviruses. The TV genome encodes four proteins, the nucleoprotein (N), the glycoprotein precursor, the polymerase (L), and a small RING finger protein (Z). Using a reverse genetic system, we recently demonstrated that TV N and L are sufficient to drive transcription and full-cycle RNA replication mediated by TV-like RNAs and that Z is a powerful inhibitor of these processes (N. López, R. Jácamo, and M. T. Franze-Fernández, J. Virol. 65:12241-12251, 2001). In the present study we investigated whether Z might interact with either of the proteins, N and L, required for RNA synthesis. To that end, we used coimmunoprecipitation with monospecific antibodies against the viral proteins and coimmunoprecipitation with serum against glutathione S-transferase (GST) and binding to glutathione-Sepharose beads when Z was expressed as a fusion protein with GST. We demonstrated that Z interacted with L but not with N and that Z inhibitory activity was dependent on its ability to bind to L. We also evaluated the contribution of different Z regions to its binding ability and functional activity. We found that integrity of the RING structure is essential for Z binding to L and for Z...Continue Reading


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