Crystal Structure of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus 3C Protease: New Insights Into Catalytic Mechanism and Cleavage SpecificityBirtley, J.R., Knox, S.R., Jaulent, A.M., Brick, P., Leatherbarrow, R.J., Curry, S.
(2005) J Biol Chem 280: 11520
- PubMed: 15654079
- DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M413254200
- Primary Citation of Related Structures:
- PubMed Abstract:
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) causes a widespread and economically devastating disease of domestic livestock. Although FMDV vaccines are available, political and technical problems associated with their use are driving a renewed search for alternative methods of disease control ...
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) causes a widespread and economically devastating disease of domestic livestock. Although FMDV vaccines are available, political and technical problems associated with their use are driving a renewed search for alternative methods of disease control. The viral RNA genome is translated as a single polypeptide precursor that must be cleaved into functional proteins by virally encoded proteases. 10 of the 13 cleavages are performed by the highly conserved 3C protease (3C(pro)), making the enzyme an attractive target for antiviral drugs. We have developed a soluble, recombinant form of FMDV 3C(pro), determined the crystal structure to 1.9-angstroms resolution, and analyzed the cleavage specificity of the enzyme. The structure indicates that FMDV 3C(pro) adopts a chymotrypsin-like fold and possesses a Cys-His-Asp catalytic triad in a similar conformation to the Ser-His-Asp triad conserved in almost all serine proteases. This observation suggests that the dyad-based mechanisms proposed for this class of cysteine proteases need to be reassessed. Peptide cleavage assays revealed that the recognition sequence spans at least four residues either side of the scissile bond (P4-P4') and that FMDV 3C(pro) discriminates only weakly in favor of P1-Gln over P1-Glu, in contrast to other 3C(pro) enzymes that strongly favor P1-Gln. The relaxed specificity may be due to the unexpected absence in FMDV 3C(pro) of an extended beta-ribbon that folds over the substrate binding cleft in other picornavirus 3C(pro) structures. Collectively, these results establish a valuable framework for the development of FMDV 3C(pro) inhibitors.
Biophysics Section, Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, South Kensington Campus, London, United Kingdom.