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Ebola Virus Transcription Activator VP30 Is a Zinc-Binding Protein

By Jens Modrof, Stephan Becker and Elke Mühlberger


Ebola virus VP30 is an essential activator of viral transcription. In viral particles, VP30 is closely associated with the nucleocapsid complex. A conspicuous structural feature of VP30 is an unconventional zinc-binding Cys(3)-His motif comprising amino acids 68 to 95. By using a colorimetric zinc-binding assay we found that the VP30-specific Cys(3)-His motif stoichiometrically binds zinc ions in a one-to-one relationship. Substitution of the conserved cysteines and the histidine within the motif led to a complete loss of the capacity for zinc binding. Functional analyses revealed that none of the tested mutations of the proposed zinc-coordinating residues influenced binding of VP30 to nucleocapsid-like particles but, concerning its role in activating viral transcription, all resulted in a protein that was inactive

Topics: Replication
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1128/JVI.77.5.3334-3338.2003
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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