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J Virol. 1988 Nov;62(11):4216-23.

Relationship of p220 cleavage during picornavirus infection to 2A proteinase sequencing.

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  • 1Department of Cellular, Viral and Molecular Biology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City 84132.


Infection of HeLa cells by poliovirus results in an abrupt inhibition of host cell protein synthesis. It is thought that the mechanism of this inhibition involves proteolytic cleavage of the p220 component of the cap-binding protein complex, thereby causing functional inactivation of the cap-binding protein complex and preventing capped (cellular) mRNAs from binding ribosomes. Current data suggest that the viral proteinase 2A indirectly induces p220 cleavage via alteration or activation of a second proteinase of cellular origin. We present evidence that translation of poliovirus proteinase 2A sequences in vitro activates p220 cleavage. We have also aligned published picornavirus 2A amino acid sequences for maximum homology, and we show that the picornaviruses can be divided into two classes based on the presence or absence of a highly conserved 18-amino acid sequence in the carboxy-terminal portion of 2A. This conserved 2A sequence is homologous with the active site of the cysteine proteinase 3C common to all picornaviruses. We show that picornaviruses which contain the putative 2A active site sequence (e.g., enteroviruses and rhinoviruses) will induce cleavage of p220 in vivo. Conversely, we show that two cardioviruses (encephalomyocarditis virus and Theiler's encephalomyelitis virus) do not encode this putative proteinase sequence in the 2A region and do not induce cleavage of p220 in vivo. The foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) 2A sequence represents an apparent deletion and consists of only 16 amino acids, most homologous with the carboxy terminus of the cardiovirus 2A sequence. It does not contain the putative cysteine proteinase active site. However, FMDV infection induces complete cleavage of BK cell p220, and translation of FMDV RNA in vitro induces an activity that cleaves HeLa cell p220. The data predict that an alternate FMDV viral protease is responsible for the induction of p220 cleavage.

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