1887

Abstract

Native rabies virus glycoprotein (RVGvir) is a trimeric, membrane-anchored protein that has been shown to interact with the p75 neurotrophin receptor. In order to determine if the RVG trimeric oligomerization state is required for its binding with p75, different soluble recombinant molecules containing the entire RVG ectodomain (RVGect) were expressed alone or fused at its C terminus to the trimerization domain of the bacteriophage T4 fibritin, termed ‘foldon’. The oligomerization status of recombinant RVG was investigated using sedimentation in sucrose gradient and p75 binding assays. It was found that, in the absence of the fibritin foldon, recombinant RVGect forms unstable trimers that dissociate into monomers in a concentration-dependent manner. C-terminal fusion with the foldon induces stable RVG trimerization, which is concentration-independent. Furthermore, the fibritin foldon maintains the native antigenic structure of the carboxy part of RVGect. Cell binding experiments showed that RVG trimerization is required for efficient interaction with p75. However, the exact mode of trimerization appears unimportant, as trimeric recombinant RVGect (fused to the fibritin foldon) and RVGvir both recognize p75 with similar nanomolar affinities, as shown by surface plasmon resonance experiments. Altogether, these results show that the C-terminal fusion of the RVG ectodomain with the fibritin foldon is a powerful way to obtain a recombinant trimeric native-like structure of the p75 binding domain of RVG.

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2005-09-01
2019-11-23
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