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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jun 14;277(24):21829-35. Epub 2002 Mar 26.

The antiviral dynamin family member, MxA, tubulates lipids and localizes to the smooth endoplasmic reticulum.

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  • 1Center for Basic Research in Digestive Diseases and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Mx proteins are induced by type I interferon and inhibit a broad range of viruses by undefined mechanisms. They are included within the dynamin family of large GTPases, which are involved in vesicle trafficking and share common biophysical features. These properties include the propensity to self-assemble, an affinity for lipids, and the ability to tubulate membranes. In this report we establish that human MxA, despite sharing only 30% homology with conventional dynamin, possesses many of these properties. We demonstrate for the first time that MxA self-assembles into rings that tubulate lipids in vitro, and associates with a specific membrane compartment in cells, the smooth endoplasmic reticulum.

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