The C-terminal domain of the measles virus nucleoprotein is intrinsically disordered and folds upon binding to the C-terminal moiety of the phosphoprotein.

Longhi, S., Receveur-Bréchot, V., Karlin, D., Johansson, K., Darbon, H., Bhella, D. , Yeo, R., Finet, S. and Canard, B. (2003) The C-terminal domain of the measles virus nucleoprotein is intrinsically disordered and folds upon binding to the C-terminal moiety of the phosphoprotein. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278(20), pp. 18638-18648. (doi:10.1074/jbc.M300518200)

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Abstract

The nucleoprotein of measles virus consists of an N-terminal moiety, N(CORE), resistant to proteolysis and a C-terminal moiety, N(TAIL), hypersensitive to proteolysis and not visible as a distinct domain by electron microscopy. We report the bacterial expression, purification, and characterization of measles virus N(TAIL). Using nuclear magnetic resonance, circular dichroism, gel filtration, dynamic light scattering, and small angle x-ray scattering, we show that N(TAIL) is not structured in solution. Its sequence and spectroscopic and hydrodynamic properties indicate that N(TAIL) belongs to the premolten globule subfamily within the class of intrinsically disordered proteins. The same epitopes are exposed in N(TAIL) and within the nucleoprotein, which rules out dramatic conformational changes in the isolated N(TAIL) domain compared with the full-length nucleoprotein. Most unstructured proteins undergo some degree of folding upon binding to their partners, a process termed "induced folding." We show that N(TAIL) is able to bind its physiological partner, the phosphoprotein, and that it undergoes such an unstructured-to-structured transition upon binding to the C-terminal moiety of the phosphoprotein. The presence of flexible regions at the surface of the viral nucleocapsid would enable plastic interactions with several partners, whereas the gain of structure arising from induced folding would lead to modulation of these interactions. These results contribute to the study of the emerging field of natively unfolded proteins.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bhella, Dr David
Authors: Longhi, S., Receveur-Bréchot, V., Karlin, D., Johansson, K., Darbon, H., Bhella, D., Yeo, R., Finet, S., and Canard, B.
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Biological Chemistry
Publisher:American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
ISSN:0021-9258
ISSN (Online):1083-351X
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