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J Virol. 2006 Dec;80(23):11723-32. Epub 2006 Sep 13.

The NPro product of bovine viral diarrhea virus inhibits DNA binding by interferon regulatory factor 3 and targets it for proteasomal degradation.

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  • 1Division of Basic Medical Sciences, St. George's, University of London, London SW17 0RE, United Kingdom.


Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is a pestivirus that can establish a persistent infection in the developing fetus and has the ability to disable the production of type I interferon. In this report, we extend our previous observations that BVDV encodes a protein able to specifically block the activity of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3), a transcription factor essential for interferon promoter activation, by demonstrating that this is a property of the N-terminal protease fragment (NPro) of the BVDV polyprotein. Although BVDV infections cause relocalization of cellular IRF-3 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus early in infection, NPro blocks IRF-3 from binding to DNA. NPro has the additional property of targeting IRF-3 for polyubiquitination and subsequent destruction by cellular multicatalytic proteasomes. The autoprotease activity of NPro is not required for the inhibition of type I interferon induction or the targeting of IRF-3 for degradation.

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