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J Virol. 1994 Apr;68(4):2772-6.

Proteolytic cleavage of wild type and mutants of the F protein of human parainfluenza virus type 3 by two subtilisin-like endoproteases, furin and Kex2.

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  • 1Institut für Virologie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.


The fusion (F) protein of human parainfluenza virus type 3 contains the tribasic cleavage site R-T-K-R, which was altered by site-directed mutagenesis. Wild-type F protein and various mutants were expressed by recombinant vaccinia viruses. The endogenous endoprotease present in CV-1 cells cleaves F variants containing the furin recognition motif R-X-K/R-R but not variants containing the dibasic site K-R or a single R at the cleavage site. A similar cleavage pattern was obtained when the subtilisin-like endoproteases Kex2 and furin were coexpressed with the wild type and mutants of the F protein. Peptidylchloromethylketone inhibitors mimicking basic cleavage sites prevent cleavage of the precursor Fo by the endogenous protease only when the furin-specific motif is present in the peptidyl portion. The data support the concept that furin is a cellular protease responsible for the activation of the F protein of human parainfluenza virus type 3.

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