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  1. Crystal Structure of a Monomeric Form of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Endonuclease Nsp15 Suggests a Role for Hexamerization As An Allosteric Switch

    SciTech Connect

    Joseph, J.S.; Saikatendu, K.S.; Subramanian, V.

    2007-07-09

    Mature nonstructural protein-15 (nsp15) from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) contains a novel uridylate-specific Mn{sup 2+}-dependent endoribonuclease (NendoU). Structure studies of the full-length form of the obligate hexameric enzyme from two CoVs, SARS-CoV and murine hepatitis virus, and its monomeric homologue, XendoU from Xenopus laevis, combined with mutagenesis studies have implicated several residues in enzymatic activity and the N-terminal domain as the major determinant of hexamerization. However, the tight link between hexamerization and enzyme activity in NendoUs has remained an enigma. Here, we report the structure of a trimmed, monomeric form of SARS-CoV nsp15 (residues 28 to 335)more » determined to a resolution of 2.9 Angstroms. The catalytic loop (residues 234 to 249) with its two reactive histidines (His 234 and His 249) is dramatically flipped by {approx}120 degrees into the active site cleft. Furthermore, the catalytic nucleophile Lys 289 points in a diametrically opposite direction, a consequence of an outward displacement of the supporting loop (residues 276 to 295). In the full-length hexameric forms, these two loops are packed against each other and are stabilized by intimate intersubunit interactions. Our results support the hypothesis that absence of an adjacent monomer due to deletion of the hexamerization domain is the most likely cause for disruption of the active site, offering a structural basis for why only the hexameric form of this enzyme is active.« less

  2. Isolation and characterization of a novel Betacoronavirus subgroup A coronavirus, rabbit coronavirus HKU14, from domestic rabbits.

    PubMed

    Lau, Susanna K P; Woo, Patrick C Y; Yip, Cyril C Y; Fan, Rachel Y Y; Huang, Yi; Wang, Ming; Guo, Rongtong; Lam, Carol S F; Tsang, Alan K L; Lai, Kenneth K Y; Chan, Kwok-Hung; Che, Xiao-Yan; Zheng, Bo-Jian; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2012-05-01

    We describe the isolation and characterization of a novel Betacoronavirus subgroup A coronavirus, rabbit coronavirus HKU14 (RbCoV HKU14), from domestic rabbits. The virus was detected in 11 (8.1%) of 136 rabbit fecal samples by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), with a viral load of up to 10(8) copies/ml. RbCoV HKU14 was able to replicate in HRT-18G and RK13 cells with cytopathic effects. Northern blotting confirmed the production of subgenomic mRNAs coding for the HE, S, NS5a, E, M, and N proteins. Subgenomic mRNA analysis revealed a transcription regulatory sequence, 5'-UCUAAAC-3'. Phylogenetic analysis showed that RbCoV HKU14 formed a distinct branch among Betacoronavirus subgroup A coronaviruses, being most closely related to but separate from the species Betacoronavirus 1. A comparison of the conserved replicase domains showed that RbCoV HKU14 possessed <90% amino acid identities to most members of Betacoronavirus 1 in ADP-ribose 1″-phosphatase (ADRP) and nidoviral uridylate-specific endoribonuclease (NendoU), indicating that RbCoV HKU14 should represent a separate species. RbCoV HKU14 also possessed genomic features distinct from those of other Betacoronavirus subgroup A coronaviruses, including a unique NS2a region with a variable number of small open reading frames (ORFs). Recombination analysis revealed possible recombination events during the evolution of RbCoV HKU14 and members of Betacoronavirus 1, which may have occurred during cross-species transmission. Molecular clock analysis using RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) genes dated the most recent common ancestor of RbCoV HKU14 to around 2002, suggesting that this virus has emerged relatively recently. Antibody against RbCoV was detected in 20 (67%) of 30 rabbit sera tested by an N-protein-based Western blot assay, whereas neutralizing antibody was detected in 1 of these 20 rabbits.