1887

Abstract

The arenavirus nucleocapsid protein (N) is a highly basic 63 kDa protein with a dual function during the virus life-cycle. First, it is involved in essential steps of genome replication, promoting the synthesis of the full-length antigenomic copy of S RNA, and second it associates with the genomic RNA to form the nucleocapsid. We have expressed the N protein of Junín virus in and shown that it binds zinc . This property is in agreement with the presence in the carboxy-terminal region of the N protein of the CXHXCXC sequence, which resembles a classical zinc-finger motif. The specificity for zinc binding was demonstrated by competition with other divalent metal ions. The ability of the predicted motif to bind zinc was established by analysis of a series of N mutants, including truncated variants and amino acid substitutions. In addition, alternative zinc-binding sites were found.

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2001-01-01
2021-10-24
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