Browsing by Subject "RNA-dependent RNA polymerase"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-3 of 3
  • Sun, Xiaoyu; Ilca, Serban L.; Huiskonen, Juha T.; Poranen, Minna M. (2018)
    Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses package several RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRp) together with their dsRNA genome into an icosahedral protein capsid known as the polymerase complex. This structure is highly conserved among dsRNA viruses but is not found in any other virus group. RdRp subunits typically interact directly with the main capsid proteins, close to the 5-fold symmetric axes, and perform viral genome replication and transcription within the icosahedral protein shell. In this study, we utilized Pseudomonas phage Phi 6, a well-established virus self-assembly model, to probe the potential roles of the RdRp in dsRNA virus assembly. We demonstrated that Phi 6 RdRp accelerates the polymerase complex self-assembly process and contributes to its conformational stability and integrity. We highlight the role of specific amino acid residues on the surface of the RdRp in its incorporation during the self-assembly reaction. Substitutions of these residues reduce RdRp incorporation into the polymerase complex during the self-assembly reaction. Furthermore, we determined that the overall transcription efficiency of the Phi 6 polymerase complex increased when the number of RdRp subunits exceeded the number of genome segments. These results suggest a mechanism for RdRp recruitment in the polymerase complex and highlight its novel role in virion assembly, in addition to the canonical RNA transcription and replication functions. IMPORTANCE Double-stranded RNA viruses infect a wide spectrum of hosts, including animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria. Yet genome replication mechanisms of these viruses are conserved. During the infection cycle, a proteinaceous capsid, the polymerase complex, is formed. An essential component of this capsid is the viral RNA polymerase that replicates and transcribes the enclosed viral genome. The polymerase complex structure is well characterized for many double-stranded RNA viruses. However, much less is known about the hierarchical molecular interactions that take place in building up such complexes. Using the bacteriophage Phi 6 self-assembly system, we obtained novel insights into the processes that mediate polymerase subunit incorporation into the polymerase complex for generation of functional structures. The results presented pave the way for the exploitation and engineering of viral self-assembly processes for biomedical and synthetic biology applications. An understanding of viral assembly processes at the molecular level may also facilitate the development of antivirals that target viral capsid assembly.
  • Mönttinen, Heli A. M.; Ravantti, Janne J.; Poranen, Minna M. (2012)
  • Mönttinen, Heli; Ravantti, Janne; Poranen, Minna (2021)
    RNA viruses are the fastest evolving known biological entities. Consequently, the sequence similarity between homologous viral proteins disappears quickly, limiting the usability of traditional sequence-based phylogenetic methods in the reconstruction of relationships and evolutionary history among RNA viruses. Protein structures, however, typically evolve more slowly than sequences, and structural similarity can still be evident, when no sequence similarity can be detected. Here, we used an automated structural comparison method, homologous structure finder, for comprehensive comparisons of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRps). We identified a common structural core of 231 residues for all the structurally characterized viral RdRps, covering segmented and non-segmented negative-sense, positive-sense, and double-stranded RNA viruses infecting both prokaryotic and eukaryotic hosts. The grouping and branching of the viral RdRps in the structure-based phylogenetic tree follow their functional differentiation. The RdRps using protein primer, RNA primer, or self-priming mechanisms have evolved independently of each other, and the RdRps cluster into two large branches based on the used transcription mechanism. The structure-based distance tree presented here follows the recently established RdRp-based RNA virus classification at genus, subfamily, family, order, class and subphylum ranks. However, the topology of our phylogenetic tree suggests an alternative phylum level organization.