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Title: Characterization of the fusion core in zebrafish endogenous retroviral envelope protein

Zebrafish endogenous retrovirus (ZFERV) is the unique endogenous retrovirus in zebrafish, as yet, containing intact open reading frames of its envelope protein gene in zebrafish genome. Similarly, several envelope proteins of endogenous retroviruses in human and other mammalian animal genomes (such as syncytin-1 and 2 in human, syncytin-A and B in mouse) were identified and shown to be functional in induction of cell–cell fusion involved in placental development. ZFERV envelope protein (Env) gene appears to be also functional in vivo because it is expressible. After sequence alignment, we found ZFERV Env shares similar structural profiles with syncytin and other type I viral envelopes, especially in the regions of N- and C-terminal heptad repeats (NHR and CHR) which were crucial for membrane fusion. We expressed the regions of N + C protein in the ZFERV Env (residues 459–567, including predicted NHR and CHR) to characterize the fusion core structure. We found N + C protein could form a stable coiled-coil trimer that consists of three helical NHR regions forming a central trimeric core, and three helical CHR regions packing into the grooves on the surface of the central core. The structural characterization of the fusion core revealed the possible mechanism of fusion mediated by ZFERV Env.more » These results gave comprehensive explanation of how the ancient virus infects the zebrafish and integrates into the genome million years ago, and showed a rational clue for discovery of physiological significance (e.g., medicate cell–cell fusion). - Highlights: • ZFERV Env shares similar structural profiles with syncytin and other type I viral envelopes. • The fusion core of ZFERV Env forms stable coiled-coil trimer including three NHRs and three CHRs. • The structural mechanism of viral entry mediated by ZFERV Env is disclosed. • The results are helpful for further discovery of physiological function of ZFERV Env in zebrafish.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. State Key Laboratory of Virology, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430072 (China)
  2. (China)
  3. CAS Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens and Biosafety, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei 430071 (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22462035
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications; Journal Volume: 460; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; ALIGNMENT; GENES; HUMAN POPULATIONS; IN VIVO; MEMBRANES; MICE; PACKINGS; PROTEINS; SURFACES; VIRUSES